Calling all employers: become a Change100 partner and be a more inclusive, disability confident organisation

11 March 2016

by Victoria Passant

In 2013, Leonard Cheshire Disability launched the Change100 programme with the ambition to change the current employment landscape for disabled students and recent graduates. 

The programme is now in its third year and we’re seeking employer partners interested in offering Change100 work placements to disabled students this summer.

In March 2013, the UK employment rate among working age disabled people was 49% (4.1 million), compared to 81.8% of non-disabled people. And a graduate with a work-limiting disability is more likely to be lacking, but wanting work than an unqualified person with no disability. (See Papworth Trust's Disability in the UK report from 2014.)

About Change100

Group of six Change100 participantsChange100 is a programme of paid summer work placements and mentoring for students and recent graduates with disabilities or long-term health conditions. 

The scheme aims to unlock the untapped potential of these individuals and to give organisations access to a talent pool bursting with ability, creativity and insight.

We have seen some fantastic impact since launching. 100% of our employer partners in 2015 said they would recommend the programme to others.

In 2015 we worked with 24 employers and placed over 50 students across the UK into paid placements. Partners included Barclays, BBC, Thomson Reuters, Lloyds, SABMiller and DFID.

500 applicants in 2016 — we need your company!

Although this is a fantastic achievement, we had many more talented and ambitious applicants than places available. And this year we’ve received over 500 applications from students! We want to support as many of them as we can with their first step on their career journey. We aim to secure 100 placement offers across 40 employers.

Each employer partner receives bespoke support to become more a more inclusive, disability confident organisation, and receives tailored disability briefings focussed on disability awareness, reasonable adjustments and how best to support their intern on placement.

‘This programme has been extremely useful. It has made me think about my own attitudes to disability. It’s made me realise the importance of not seeing the disability first but the person and their skills.’ — Antony Pearce, Prospects

No matter how big or small the business, we want to hear from anyone who may be interested in offering talented disabled students work placements this summer.

If you would like to be a ‘disability confident’ organisation, contact us to arrange a meeting at or call Chris Surr on 020 3242 0419.

Victoria Passant is programme manager for youth employment at Leonard Cheshire Disability.

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