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Physical Disabilities Month: Supportive employment schemes

Category: Physical Disability

Persons with disabilities should never feel a particular industry “isn’t for them.” There are a wide range of actions employers can take to start this change from the ground up. The Government has set apprenticeship recruitment targets as one such way to improve workforce diversity. The target is to recruit three million apprentices with disabilities by 2020.

This flexibility and transparency have opened up apprenticeships to a wider range of people, including those with multiple disabilities, health conditions or learning difficulties. Employers understand that it’s important to give everyone a fair and equal chance and choose from a wider pool of talent.


Apprenticeships for persons with disabilities

This new and growing understanding means almost all apprenticeships can be made accessible. And changes to the scheme to make it disability-friendly have helped. This has included waiving the need for GCSEs for applicants with learning difficulties. And recognizing British Sign Language as the equivalent of a functional skill in English.

This means that apprenticeships are an increasingly attractive way to enter the workforce. An apprenticeship is open to anyone 16 and over and provides practical training in a real job at the same time as studying.


Apprentices work:

  • alongside experienced staff
  • to get the skills needed to grow their opportunities
  • to get qualifications
  • to get paid!


Supportive employment

Meanwhile, the Government is also continuing to explore how it can support employers to increase access to work for people with a disability. Other projects include:

  • The New Enterprise Allowance to help jobseekers start or develop their own business, including disabled jobseekers.
  • The introduction of a programme of work to encourage people to stay healthy. Part of this is a series of toolkits to help employers support the mental and physical health of their employees.
  • The development of tools that will raise the profile of work as a health outcome, and to help support healthcare professionals in addressing health needs and barriers to work.
  • The Access to Work scheme provides support to meet the needs of disabled people in the workplace. Access to Work grants are available to both employees and to the self-employed and aim to provide practical and financial support to help disabled people find or stay in work.


Interested in exploring an apprenticeship with a disability-friendly employer? Search our database of thousands of available vacancies today.


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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