Top businesses to help disabled students kick-start careers

28 September 2017

Claire Wolf, Change100 internTop businesses in the UK are looking for talented disabled students, and recent graduates, to take on work placements in summer 2018 in a bid to kick-start their careers. 

These opportunities, across a range of industries, come as part of the award-winning Change100 internship scheme that leading charity Leonard Cheshire Disability runs.

Applications for Change100 open today and close on Wednesday 24 January, 2018. Students and recent graduates are being urged to apply as soon as possible for these highly coveted three-month placements. 

In recent years, applicants have gained experience across sectors including law and media, with previous Change100 employers including the BBC, Taylor Wimpey, Barclays, Skanska and Virgin Money. The 2018 employers will be announced next year on the Leonard Cheshire Disability website.

Change100 2017 intern Claire Wolf, from University of Kent, had a placement with Turner Broadcasting this summer.

She said:

‘Being dyslexic means I’ve always had to work twice as hard and be super organised to stay on track throughout school and university.

‘For many, dyslexia is dismissed as not really being a genuine disability, which has been hard for me when my capabilities are judged on my spelling, working memory and slow reading speed.’

Claire said in the past she’s struggled with psychometric and timed tests for jobs. 

However, as a dubbing assistant coordinator at Turner Broadcasting as part of her Change100 internship, Claire worked on sourcing, leasing and distributing children's TV content from Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers and Boomerang to north Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

She said:

‘It’s been an exciting few months! I have met people who have worked in broadcasting for many years and I’ve had a tour of the CNN studios.

‘My employers have eased me into the work place and have been super friendly and welcoming. This has been a huge help and has made me feel relaxed, despite this being my first ever office job!’

Successful applicants get mentoring and guidance throughout their paid placement, to help them excel and thrive within the workplace.

Change100 also supports businesses by giving advice and guidance on how to support employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Programme manager Victoria Passant said:

‘Change100 is crucial in breaking down barriers to employment for disabled graduates.

‘Given that disabled people are nearly four times more likely to be unemployed by the time they 26-years-old than their non-disabled peers, schemes like this could not be more important.

‘Employers need to realise that by not employing disabled graduates, they are missing out on the widest pool of talent.

‘We’re thrilled that 100% of our employer partners said they would recommend the programme to others.’

Online applications are open now for students in their penultimate or final year, or who have graduated in 2016 or 2017. 

You must be eligible to work in the UK, consider yourself to have a disability or long-term health condition, and have achieved or been predicted at least a 2:1.

Apply now.

To date the charity has have placed over 250 interns with over 90 employers across the UK and is looking forward to partnering with even more organisations next summer.

In order to deliver Change100, Leonard Cheshire Disability is partnered with Koreo, a social enterprise also responsible for the non-profit sector graduate scheme Charityworks.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries and high res images please contact Claire Farrell on claire.farrell@leonardcheshire.org or call 020 3242 0204.

Change100 Leonard Cheshire Disability launched the ambitious scheme in 2013, and since then the charity has been overwhelmed by the positive response from employers, students, and recent graduates.