Dudley People's Parliament on employment took place on Friday 26th April.
Several MPs; Kevin Tomkins, Alan Slym and Judy Alcock challenged local decision makers about their pledges made at the last Parliament, which took place in July 2012.
Izzy Brant, MP and Chair Person spoke confidently questioning delegates from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, staff from the Black Country Partnership Trust and the Employment Plus team.
The Employment Plus team shared the lives and experiences of two paid employees; Susan Baker and Roger Jones. We were able to hear about their positive experiences of being in employment, and the valuable work they do in their roles.
The People's Parliament has put employment high on the agenda within Dudley Council gaining support from John Polychronakis the Chief Executive for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, who supported the MPs to hold delegates to account.
The pledges that were made were to create paid job opportunities, write a job carving policy and an accessible recruitment process within Dudley Council and the Black Country Partnership Trust. The MPs held the professionals to account, to make sure the needs and voices of people with learning disabilities and autism are herd and acted upon.
There were many delegates present, including Ian Austin, Labour MP. The MPs for Dudley's People's Parliament were pleased to hear from Mr Austin, and will continue to work with him as he has offered them the opportunity to shadow him either locally or in Parliament to see what his job involves.
All delegates were asked to give feedback on what they had achieved to meet their pledge. The MPs then commented on the outcomes and scored them against a new traffic light system. Some of the positive outcomes achieved included:
- Dudley Council have created 3 jobs. They were given an amber light, as they hadn't achieved the 5 agreed jobs.
- Lunch on the Run created 4 new jobs for people with learning disabilities.
Councilor Dave Vickers was also present, supporting the work of the MPs and helping to secure the paid job opportunities the Black Country Partnership Trust had agreed to.
The MPs made it clear if they were happy with the feedback and set further actions for the next Parliament. The work is still on going, and we all hope it will continue to improve the opportunities available for people with learning disabilities and autism.
The next Parliament will take place on Friday 25th October 2013.