Change100 — paid internships with leading UK companies for talented disabled students

12 February 2014

Today we're proud to launch Change100, a national campaign to find talented disabled undergraduates to work in some of the UK’s leading companies as paid interns.

The scheme has engaged with some of the UK’s leading companies and employers, including Experian, Prospects, SABMiller plc and Standard Life. They will all be taking students from summer 2014. We're also offering a placement here at Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Research from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that just over half of working-age disabled people are currently not in work. By launching Change100, we want to address this under-representation of disabled people in the workplace. We aim to broaden the public’s understanding of what disability is, as well as highlight the fact that many disabled students are talented, ambitious, and would thrive in the business sector.

Change100 has placements across the UK and is open to anyone with a long term health condition or disability, including physical, visual or hearing impairments, mental health conditions and learning disabilities like dyslexia and dyspraxia.

To engage with universities across the country, we’re partnering with Vanilla, a social enterprise also responsible for the non-profit sector graduate scheme Charityworks. They'll be helping us reach out to student representatives acting as disability champions on campus.

We’re also working with a number of disabled role models, who have overcome numerous challenges to secure successful careers in the corporate sector. They have launched an inspiring marketing campaign to reach out to students and potential employers, challenging preconceptions about disability in the workplace.

1. Tom Eats, International Research and Development Manager, Pearson

Tom, 32, works for Pearson, the world’s largest education company, as an international research and development manager in its qualifications business. He has hearing and visual impairments and balance problems as a result of having measles as a young child.

‘I think Change100 is a great idea because it allows employers to get access to the range of talents that they need. And it enables people with disabilities to get access to the right arenas to test out their talents, build up their confidence and define their future.’

2. Toby Mildon, Project Manager, BBC Future Media

Toby, 32, works as a project manager for BBC Future Media. He uses a wheelchair after living with spinal muscular atrophy since birth.

‘Graduates face challenges anyway, so to have a disability on top makes things twice as hard. Any scheme like Change100 is a great thing to help disabled people into work.’

More information

Visit our Change100 page today to find out more about the programme, our role models, and how to apply.

Read the press release for Change100.

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