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Employment schemes for disabled students

disability symbolYou are not legally obliged to disclose your disability, it is a matter of personal choice.

Many employers are employing applicants with disabilities and health conditions, and striving for greater diversity in the workplace. Undertaking a graduate scheme or internship is one way that students can take their first steps into graduate level employment.

Some employers offer schemes specifically aimed at students and graduates with disabilities or long term health conditions. Others offer opportunities for all, but as well as mainstream recruitment sites, they also advertise through specialist sites such as EmployAbility (see link below).

Top tips

  • Research any employers thoroughly before applying. Take a look at the equality and diversity policy on their website.     
  • Does the employer offer any ‘positive action’ initiatives aimed at students with disabilities?
  • Be open-minded. Keep a positive attitude and be prepared to have your stereotypes challenged.
  • Work shadowing can be a useful way to research the work environment. By seeing the organisation for yourself, you can tell whether there really is a diverse workforce.
  • Attend careers events/fairs, especially those aimed at students and graduates with disabilities.

Targeted events to attend

Open - Provides university students with a disability or long term health condition with an insight into a career in commercial law.

Getting Investment banking - Provides university students with a disability or long term health condition with an insight into a career in investment banking.

Go-Great Opportunities – A unique careers event for talented 6th form students and first year university students with a disability or health condition.

Diversity Careers Show - A fantastic opportunity to meet face-to-face with top employers who openly embrace diversity in their recruitment.

Examples of schemes targeting disabled applicants

For those studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Informatics, or a closely related technical field: Google Europe scholarship for students with disabilities.

Engineering / Science: Shell Graduate Programme (Engineering/Science) in Partnership with EmployAbility.

British Council EmployAbility Summer Internship Scheme.

Change 100: Internship programme which brings together the UK’s top employers and talented disabled students.

Useful links

Diversity Jobs – This site only displays jobs from employers who understand the value of building a diverse workforce.

Elevation Networks – Range of activities including internships, mentoring and work experience schemes.

EmployAbility – Not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting students and graduates with all disabilities, including dyslexia or long term health conditions, into employment.

Great with Disability – Provides a wealth of information, advice and case studies as well as job adverts from a range of major organisations.  

Target Jobs – Within their careers advice section, they have a range of useful information related to equality and diversity.

CareerBox – The Options and Opportunities section contains a wealth of useful information related to finding appropriate opportunities.



Page last updated on Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 3.27pm.


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