We have identified that employers are missing vital opportunities to hire talented, hardworking, and promising young people who are making a transition from education.
Some of these concerns include legal responsibilities, around “reasonable adjustments” (Equality Act 2010), the recruitment process as well as mistaken beliefs and assumptions about what is required to hire and manage disabled people.
As it stands, the employment rate of disabled people in Scotland is 45.4% which is significantly lower than that of non-disabled people which is 81.2%.
The Apt Transitions Workstream set out to establish if employers are confident and proactive in recruiting disabled young people and wherever it was established that there were difficulties, try to identify what they are. Once understood, how can we support these employers to have a more inclusive approach?
It was also essential to ascertain which employers are already or willing to support disabled young people into work from education – schools, colleges, universities or community learning and what we can learn from them.
We hope to highlight the many benefits of hiring young disabled people and ensure that employers and young people are aware of and have access to all of the support available to them.
We believe there are many opportunities for improvement and we hope to work with private sector employers to gain the confidence and skills to support young people to gain work experience, improving their prospect of transitioning into work.
We’ve also identified that there are several opportunities to improve the accessibility of funding, courses and support in hiring young people.
The Making Transitions Work project will engage with employers to instil confidence and proactiveness when it comes to recruiting disabled young people. We will provide guidance, support and education on how to recruit disabled young people and how to retain them in their positions and we will dispel the myths and uncertainties around this.