EVERY company knows it is important to be inclusive – but how many disabled staff do you work with?
There are more than 11million people with a disability in the UK, and they are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those without one.
Charity Scope says a million of them want to work but are unable to find jobs, while one in four employers admits to being less likely to hire someone with a disability.
The charity’s research found they have to apply for 60 per cent more jobs to land work.
Tuesday is International Day of Disabled Persons, a UN-backed initiative which aims to break down barriers.
To help, Scope has teamed up with 60 employers, including Virgin Media, Deloitte, Centrica, Ford and Philips, to close the UK employment gap with the Support to Work scheme. The online programme gives working-age adults flexible, tailored advice on applying for paid work.
Employment advisers work with jobseekers to create a 12-week action plan designed to their needs, including CV advice, interview techniques and employment skills.
Scope chief executive Mark Hodgkinson said: “It’s scandalous that there are one million disabled people who want to work but are denied the opportunity.
“Disabled people face far too many hurdles when it comes to employment. Support to Work empowers disabled people to grow in skills and confidence to secure the role they want and unleash their talents in the world of work.
“Businesses must step up their game and create more inclusive workplaces.”
You can find out more at scope.org.uk/employment-services/support-to-work/.
Virgin Media is offering a free toolkit to help firms become more disability inclusive. See workwithme.support.
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JAKI WILSON has a degenerative sight condition and used Support to Work to win a job as a domestic violence and abuse health advocate.
Jaki, 49, of Basingstoke, Hants, said: “Without Scope and Support to Work, I would still be looking for a comfortable job that a blind person can do.
“I had found interviews focused on my disability rather than the job and my strengths.
“But my Support to Work adviser helped me reframe disability as a strength that helps build resilience.
“We focused on what I can do. Disability isn’t going to compromise these strengths.”
MOTOR retailer Lookers has more than 150 jobs up for grabs at locations around the country. It needs people in sales roles, bodyshop staff and service advisers. Find out more at lookers.co.uk/careers.
Unwell? Don't be invisible
NOT all disabilities are visible, which can lead to problems at work from management.
Anne Welsh has sickle cell anaemia and wrote Pain-Less: Living With Pain, Finding Joy.
Here, she explains how to manage your boss if you have an invisible disability.
- BE honest from the start. Everyone will realise you are not taking advantage but need extra support, such as a revised workload.
- TAKE the initiative. Hold a meeting with your boss so they understand your condition. Check in regularly about how you are feeling.
- IF a colleague doesn’t understand, go for lunch with them to explain or share leaflets so they have independent information.
- FEELING ill? Let your boss and HR know. If you need extra time off, do not leave it to the last minute. Give your firm time to plan.
- MANAGING expectations is so important. Your teammates must know what you can and cannot deliver. Do not leave the team in a situation where they are not meeting goals because you are too tired or feeling unwell.
- KEEP asking for feedback from managers and develop your connections with senior people. Their influence will make your working life less stressful and more fulfilling, so long as they understand who you are.
TECH giant Apple is hiring support specialists for its stores around the country. Find out more and apply at apple.com/jobs/uk/retail.html.
LOOKING to work in the special needs sector? New jobs board senploy.co.uk flags up roles in charities, schools and business.
Founder Amy Allen said: “A niche sector needs its own dedicated site, since roles tend to be extremely specialised. It takes a certain type of person, with a specific skill set.
“The industry will benefit from having instant access to a rich pool of candidates with the right experience. And jobseekers won’t have to upload details to hundreds of jobs boards.”
TWO-thirds of employees will sneak in some Black Friday shopping from work today.
A poll by onbuy.com found Londoners likeliest to bag bargains on their commute, while eight per cent of staff in the North West shop in the loo.
TRAVELODGE has 35 head-office roles up for grabs as it doubles its business sales team.
Roles are also avilable in IT, human resources, sales and marketing. For details, see travelodge.co.uk/careers.
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