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News Desk: Industry News

Advantages for companies in offering work experience to young disabled people

05 June 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Ette
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Advantages for companies in offering work experience to young disabled people

Muscular Dystrophy UK supports 70,000 children and adults with muscle-wasting conditions to live as independently as possible. Our Moving Up employability project aims to increase the career prospects and confidence of young people with disabilities. To do this, we run work experience placements in our London office and in partner organisations and companies, we host events and publish resources.

Our partner companies have identified a number of business advantages in hosting placements for young disabled people, including opportunities to:

  • make practical improvements to disability employment policies
  • consult disabled consumers
  • widen their recruitment pool.

Improvements to employment policies

By having young disabled people working in their offices, companies can test, adjust and improve their disability employment policies and practices. Sometimes these policies may have been put in place by non-disabled HR and management teams.

Feedback from our partner companies has shown that developing accessibility awareness is one of the fundamental advantages of hosting placements.

Paul Stevens, Financial Management Manager at Santander Consumer PLC says:

“There were accessibility requirements to be considered before and during Ravi’s placement. Working with Ravi was useful in highlighting many of the areas on which the company may want to adapt for greater accessibility and we felt he built a greater awareness of sensitivities around disability in an office/social environment.”

Consulting disabled consumers

Partner companies have found the placements useful for gathering feedback on how disability-friendly their current products/ services are and how they can be improved.

As an example, one of the major issues facing our partner Transport for London is ensuring a historic transport infrastructure is accessible to disabled people. When young disabled people are travelling to and from their placements in London, they give TfL feedback on their current transport services and consult on how to improve. Similarly, the international financial services company ING, who has taken on a placement, is taking advantage of the young person’s advice on how to make a new budgeting app accessible to disabled users.

Widening the recruitment pool

Because young disabled people may experience knockbacks and a lack of targeted careers advice, they may present as less confident in interviews. Equally, they may not even apply for positions, because they are unaware of employment rights such as reasonable adjustments. Offering a young disabled person work experience gives them a safe environment to test out their needs and build the confidence to ask for them. Companies may even feel that the young person is suitable for the company and take them on permanently.

To get involved with Moving Up, please contact us. We are always open to new company partners to provide placements, offer mentoring, or speak at our events.

If you’d like to find more, contact Moving Up on i.baylis@musculardystrophyuk.org or 020 7803 2889


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