Every day, companies are driving disabled employees to reach their full potential in the workplace. Transport for London (TfL) has been committed to supporting their disabled staff for years, and want to continue to develop opportunities.
Launched in 2009, TfL’s Steps into Work scheme is a work experience programme for adults with learning disabilities and individuals on the autistic spectrum.
Since the launch over 10 years ago, the programme has hosted more than 280 placements, and over the last two years, 83 per cent of participants have found paid employment within 12 months of completing the scheme.
Steps into Work is run in partnershipwith Remploy, and Barnet and Southgate College. It hopes to equip candidates with transferable skills, and bridge the disability employment gap.
David Yeboah, took part in the programme in 2015, and has since found employment with TfL as a customer service assistant, thanks to the experience he gained through Steps intoWork.
“It seemed like a good experience because you got to go into different parts of TfL and learn what happens behind the scenes,” explains David. “I went to an assessment day, did two roleplays and an English and maths test for the application.”
During the scheme, participants complete three different placements across a variety of mainly office-based sectors.
“I was really happy when I found out I’d been successful,” remembers David. “My first two placements were mostly administration-based, booking meetings and filing different things. My last placement was as a customer service assistant at Kings Cross Station, which was more people-based.”
Throughout the placement, Remploy matches candidates with a job coach, to provide support, help with the transitions between placements and assist with finding employment upon completion.
“The biggest challenge is the language barrier,” David says. “In a tourist station, you meet a lot of customers where English isn’t their first language and we have to slow things down so they can understand where they need to go and if they need to change stations.”
Upon completing the programme, David applied for a position as a lost property assistant with TfL, and was successful.
He has also worked for London Underground and is now a customer service assistant, doing what he does best: helping passengers to safely get to their destinations and delivering the best service to travellers.
“It’s helped my confidence and I’ve got to learn about different cultures,” enthuses David.
“If I wasn’t doing the job that I’m doing now, I don’t think I’d have learned as much as I have. It’s helped me with interviews too, because I have to talk to people and I feel much more confident talking to large groups of people.”
So, if you’re looking for an opportunity that could kickstart an exciting, dynamic career, why not apply to Steps into Work? You never know where it may lead you.
Discover Steps into Work here. Applications for this year close on 7 June 2019.