Inclusivity at work: Getting your foot on the career ladder

Inclusivity in the work place still has a long way to go, but things are slowly changing. Funds are being pushed into disability employment to discover untapped talent and get more people into employment. We look at the organisations to turn to for guidance.

Inclusion Scotland

The fantastic Rebecca on her internship: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "I first saw the Inclusion Scotland Parliamentary Internships on my Facebook feed in 2016. I thought it would be a cool opportunity to apply for in the future, but I never imagined that an offer of accessible accommodation would see me move from Durham to Edinburgh and start an internship with Neil Findlay MSP the very next year! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Prior to my internship, I spent 5 years at uni and then I did 9 months of Voluntary Service with a Disabled Person’s Organisation in Brussels. I didn’t have the energy or the stamina for part-time work before, so before the internship I’d never had a paid job. As a result, paid work had acquired a kind of mythical status for me. I had lots of skilled volunteering experience but no success in previous job interviews. This led me to assume that if you had a paid job then a) you must have to be an expert at it, & b) you must have to work super hard all the time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I was relieved to find that this isn’t the case at all! Of course, to be successful in a job you do need relevant skills, knowledge & a strong work ethic, but it’s a learning process. Most people have paid work as part of their everyday life and nobody is superhuman. I realised that I was more than capable of fitting into a busy work environment and I added value to the team. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There was a lot to learn, but it all clicked into place fairly quickly. I found that my degree, 4 years of student democracy & 9 months working next to the European Parliament equipped me with a lot of the specialist knowledge I needed. I loved getting to focus most of my time on researching a Member’s Bill, which could go on to make a real difference. Alongside that I was using my writing and editing skills on motions, speeches and press releases. Getting to use all of my strengths on a variety of tasks was brilliant! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ More here: http://inclusionscotland.org/rebecca-labour-intern-blog/ . [Image description: Rebecca with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard MSP]

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As a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) – which means it’s led by people who identify as disabled – Inclusion Scotland is a charity campaigning to get equality across the board for the disabled community.

Supporting disabled people into meaningful work is the focus of Inclusion Scotland’s project We Can Work, which aims to make more jobs accessible for disabled people. Funded by the Scottish Government, there is a wide array of internships available which offer useful experience and the opportunity to network with important contacts.

Capability Scotland

Credit: @CapabilityScotland Facebook

Providing care, education and employment services for disabled children and adults, Capability Scotland is your go-to destination for practical support and advice on getting into the world of work. Services from Capability Scotland are suitable for those looking for work and people in employment who may be uncertain about their future.

Providing regular one-to-one meetings, as a job seeker you can receive help with CV writing and preparing for interviews as well as attending employment workshops to build confidence, and job coaching. Everyone has skills to bring to the workplace, Capability Scotland provides a safe place for you to enhance and develop your expertise.

A UK-wide organisation, Remploy is a leading name in finding sustainable employment for disabled job seekers. Just like Capability Scotland, the company will guide you whilst you look for work and when you are in employment – they are there every step of the way. Remploy has already helped over 150,000 disabled people get into work and with its expertise, guidance and encouragement, you could be next.

UNDERSTAND YOUR RIGHTS

As the Scottish Government continues to be proactive in its bid to get more disabled people into work, it’s more important than ever to know your employment rights.

When going through the recruitment process an employer can only make limited enquiries about your disability. Such queries should only be to determine if you can carry out a task that will be an essential part of your role, discover if you can take part in an interview and to decipher if any adjustments need to be made for your interview.

Any adjustments you require should be accommodated. ‘Reasonable adjustments’ should be in place to ensure disabled employees or job seekers are not put at a disadvantage.

If you think your rights have not been met during the recruitment process, this is discrimination as stated in the Equality Act 2010. The law protects everyone in areas including: application forms to interview arrangements, job offers, terms of employment, promotion, transfer and training opportunities, plus much more.

Armed with this knowledge and relevant disability focused careers support, it’s only a matter of time before the nine to five life calls your name.

For more information visit gov.scot or gov.uk.

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