Care charity Leonard Cheshire Disability has launched an internship scheme in order to increase the representation of disabled people in the workplace.
Undergraduates have until March 10 to sign up to Change 100, while the charity also hopes to increase awareness amongst employers and the general public of the abilities disabled students have, with advice and guidance available regarding how employees with long-term conditions can be supported.
Leonard Cheshire Disability chief executive Clare Pelham, comments: “We know there are tremendously talented disabled people searching for work and they could be our country’s future leaders or entrepreneurs if they are given the chance. We also know that our best companies value talent. That is why we have launched Change 100 – to provide life-changing opportunities to disabled university students to experience the world of work.
“We know that many employers are anxious about employing disabled people and uncertain how to make it work. The fact is, disabled people are far less likely to be in work than non-disabled people and we know that many of them would like to be.”
The National Union of Students (NUS) has welcomed the scheme, with disabled students’ officer Hannah Paterson commenting: “The high number of young disabled people that are unemployed is totally unacceptable. To date there have been very few workable solutions to improve this situation. A scheme like Change100 provides a real opportunity to get young disabled people into work, giving them the chance to develop their skills and grow in confidence. It also allows employers to benefit from the strength and resilience disabled people can bring to their workforce and dispel some of the preconceptions that exist around disability.”
Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions show that 54 per cent of working-age disabled people are not in work, which is a statistic those behind Change100 wants to impact on.
Rachel Whale, the managing director of social enterprise company Vanilla, who have partnered with Leonard Cheshire Disability on the scheme, is delighted with the reaction so far, saying: “The initial response to Change100 has made clear the terrific appetite and enthusiasm for this idea among not only employers, but also universities and students. We think disabled students coming to the end of their degrees have already demonstrated a great deal of talent and resilience, and we are excited about the opportunity Change100 offers for them to take those skills into the world of work.”
Source: Homecare.co.uk – http://www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1562600/new-scheme-helping-employers-realise
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