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Disability internship scheme returns to tackle stigma

Posted: 23rd September 2020

Students and graduates with disabilities and long-term health conditions will have the opportunity to complete a three-month internship with a top UK employer thanks to leading charity Leonard Cheshire’s flagship internship programme.

Applications have opened for the Change 100 programme, which gives students the worthwhile opportunity of finding valuable, paid work experience with leading organisations across a range of industries and sectors.

These highly-coveted internships help remove barriers experienced by disabled people in employment, allowing them to achieve their full potential and eliminating stigmatisation in employment.

Change 100 also delivers a dedicated six-month personal development programme during and after the internship, enabling disabled people to find and sustain employment to develop their careers and increase their skills and confidence.

Change 100 also supports businesses in offering advice and guidance on how to support students with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Some Change 100 employers include Arup, BBC, North Lanarkshire Council and Taylor Wimpey.

Emma Stewart, a 2020 Change 100 intern, who completed a work experience placement at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and is a University of Dundee graduate, said:

“The Change 100 experience has completely transformed my approach – it has made me think outside the box and I’m now more open-minded about jobs in different sectors. Now I have much more confidence in my ability and realised I’m not the only one who faces challenges or barriers, which is an example of how the programme is tailored to each intern.”

Change 100 was a finalist for the 2018 National Undergraduate Employability Awards, in the category of Best Disability Initiative in Work Experience, as well as the proud winner of the 2015 and 2016 RIDI Awards.

Stuart Robertson, Director for Leonard Cheshire in Scotland, said:

“They say ‘be the change that you want to see.’ Employers still miss out on a huge pool of talent because disabled students go underrepresented in the workplace.

“Many organisations have told us that taking on Change 100 interns have helped to change this situation, dispelling misconceptions around disability and shifting the way they attract and retain new talent.”

Applications are open until 7 January 2021. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for these highly sought for placements.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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