Getting into the world of work and apprenticeships

The route into your dream field is never linear, there are a range of pathways to best meet your needs. From accessible apprenticeships to disability focused employment services, you’re sure to be clocking in to a new career in no time.

No matter if you are looking to get into higher education, go straight into the world of work, or still unsure of the right career for you: more services and opportunities are becoming available to help get disabled people into paid employment.

CHANCES

Dedicated to getting young disabled people into work experience to help build on their CV and vital skills, such as communication and team work, or finding paid roles, Talkback UK know that people with a learning disability and/or autism should have the same opportunities as non-disabled job seekers.

From being unable to complete application forms or barriers to getting an interview, Talkback UK provide skills-based training, and work experience to prepare members for the world of work.

Additionally, the organisation is connected with a range of leading businesses, meaning Talkback UK members will be paid for their work.

Career guidance, CV writing, support with the job hunt or interview training and mock interviews, Talkback UK is just one organisation committed to getting disabled jobs seekers into the world of work.

DISCLOSURE

Change 100, from leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire, supports talented students and recent graduates with disabilities or long-term conditions to receive vital and much sought-after professional learning that is sure to make a person’s CV stand out from the crowd.

More than allowing the chance to learn and develop from industry leaders, Change 100 is a platform to help young disabled people starting off in their careers to comfortably disclose disability.

In some cases, disclosing your disability when going into the workplace – especially for the first time – can be daunting. There might be doubts that you are being hired simply because of your disability, but one scheme is working to provide aspiring young people to get their foot in the door with paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring.

Working for Greenpeace as part of her placement with Change 100, Kalila, who has dyslexia, was able to effectively ask for the reasonable adjustments she required to complete her tasks to the best of her ability

“Being on the Change 100 scheme, I felt that gave me permission to talk about my disability in a way I haven’t done before,” enthuses Kalila.

“Like a lot of people, I compensate. For example, I have poor working memory and can’t spell very well but I have a high verbal reasoning and I’m very eloquent so that doesn’t highlight my disability. With Change 100, it felt like a really good opportunity to talk about dyslexia and how I got on the scheme and this is what I can do.”

The interview process was also designed in such a way that it could highlight Kalila’s strengths. Split into three categories including a presentation and group work prior to a one-to-one interview, Kalila had the chance to showcase her skills during the presentation as she feels uncomfortable in one-to-one situations.

After getting a work place needs assessment, used to determine the reasonable adjustments required for a person with dyslexia, Kalila received speech to text software and feels comfortable asking for alternative technology or aids when starting a new project.

Kalila continues: “I was able to talk about dyslexia to the whole team and disclose what I felt comfortable with.

“This gave everyone I worked with a little bit more context about how I work and why I might ask questions about something written down or needing information delivered in a different way. I also had the insurance of Change 100 to support me.”

EARN AND LEARN

Apprenticeships have the opportunity to open doors to a career in a way that higher education cannot. Focusing on tangible learning, there are several apprenticeship pathways available – it is important to pick the option that will be most beneficial for your career progression.

Across Scotland and England there are different forms of apprenticeships on offer, and each level has their own entry requirements. Additionally, an apprenticeship can vary in length and will, in some cases, be specifically tailored to the needs and requirements of the employer.

There are four different apprenticeships on offer in England including: intermediate, advanced, higher and degree.

In Scotland, apprentice opportunities are available for foundation, modern and graduate. The level of apprenticeship will depend on whether you are still in secondary education, or looking to complete a university or college course at the same time as working on your apprenticeship. Newer apprenticeships also allow people to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree.

From banking to law, beauty or social care, working with the Metropolitan Police Force in London or learning to become a software developer, there is an apprenticeship option for all career goals.

Discover more about apprenticeships in your area by visiting the UCAS website.

CLOCK IN

If a graduate scheme or apprenticeship doesn’t seem right for you, there are disability tailored employment services available.

Remploy, experts in disability and sustainable employment, work to help people to find and stay in meaningful employment, creating inclusive workplaces.

Unfortunately, recent figures show that 400,000 disabled people are unemployed; 76,000 more than those unemployed in 2019.

There can be barriers to getting into employment, but with the support of apprenticeships or intern and employment support more disabled people will be part of the workforce.

Find your career opportunities with Talkback UK, Mencap, Skills Development Scotland, Leonard Cheshire and Remploy.

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