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News Desk: Industry News

Supporting disabled people to get into work and creating more inclusive workspaces

07 June 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Ette
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Supporting disabled people to get into work and creating more inclusive workspaces

by Guy Chaudoir, Employment Team Manager, Support to Work, Scope

There are 14 million disabled people in the UK today, that’s 1 in 5 of us. However, disabled people are being shut out of the workplace, facing countless barriers preventing them from entering, staying and progressing in work.

At Scope, we aim to close the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people by providing national and local employment services to support disabled people to get into, stay and progress in work; working with Government to shape legislation that helps to deliver equality in the workplace; and encouraging employers to create more inclusive workplaces.

Supporting disabled people to get into work

Support to Work is our online and telephone support programme for disabled people in England and Wales who are applying for jobs.

Dedicated employment advisers work with disabled people to create personally tailored 12-week action plans that include things like:

  • employability skills, such as time management and confidence
  • writing your CV or cover letter
  • preparing for interviews
  • reading job seekers' advice

Support to Work have supported 300 customers already this year, including Mustak, Anna and Kat:

Mustak found it hard to return to the law industry when he became unwell with depression in 2014.

“I didn’t really know how to deal with it, so I just quit the job. I didn’t tell my employer that I’d become unwell.

I came across Support to Work last year. My advisor checked my CV, he gave me feedback and then I applied for jobs. He was supportive, he rang me back when I asked him to, he kept in touch with me via email, he set me goals and he did research and found me jobs.

Because it’s all online, it’s very different to the job centre. You’ve got someone who’s helping you, who wants to talk to you, who’s making suggestions. This was the support I needed.”

Anna faced discrimination in interviews once her neuropathy progressed and she began using a walking stick.

“Since November I’ve had 22 job interviews and I’ve sent over 370 job applications. It’s a shame that employers cannot see anything behind the disability.

When I was struggling month after month, I decided to contact Scope and ask if I could use the service.

My advisor was brilliant. He cheered me up and kept me focused that I am able to be employed and to be someone’s employee. You need someone who will support you in this way, who will build your confidence despite your negative experience, and months and months of failure. You need someone who will balance this.”

Kat struggled with the lack of support for disabled graduates when job-hunting.

“I applied for quite a few jobs and I was getting de-motivated. I felt that employers would cull me at the paper stage if they knew I had ADHD.

I got some interviews and I was freaking out about them, so I contacted Support to Work and spoke to an advisor. We talked about my situation and we went through my CV and different questions regarding my interview. Having someone outside of your friends and family to help you really helps, and someone who understands your disability. It’s nice to have someone that’s impartial and it was so beneficial going through the pre-interview stages and having someone to support me.

After my interview, I gave my advisor a call to say that it went well. I got the job within a week of applying.

After you’ve finished university, you’re in your own world and having Support to Work helped me control my CV and control my nerves.”

Our target is to support 700 more disabled people over the rest of 2019.

Creating more inclusive workplaces

In partnership with Virgin Media, we’ve also launched the Work With Me campaign to encourage employers to build more inclusive workplaces for disabled people.

As part of the campaign we’re asking employers to sign the #WorkWithMe pledge. By signing the #WorkWithMe pledge, businesses are committing to reviewing their practices to create a more inclusive workplace for disabled people.

As part of the #WorkWithMe community, businesses will have access to many helpful resources that can support you on your journey of becoming a more inclusive employer such as practical guides, stories featuring first-hand experiences from both employers and disabled jobseekers and general information about disability.

Find out more at:

scope.org.uk/supporttowork

workwithme.support