Are companies really fulfilling promises of guaranteed job interviews for those who have disabilities – especially young people?

Are companies really fulfilling promises of guaranteed job interviews for those who have disabilities – especially young people?

Tuesday, 5th of December

Are companies really fulfilling promises of guaranteed job interviews for those who have disabilities – especially young people?

We recently spoke to Chris Renouf from Channel 4 on the importance of companies fulfilling promises of guaranteed job interviews for young people with disabilities and the importance of encouraging young people to be honest about their disabilities.


Are companies really fulfilling promises of guaranteed job interviews for those who have disabilities – especially young people?

That depends on the applicant being honest themselves. Understandably, there’s still a minority of people who are registered as disabled but are afraid to disclose their disabilities to potential employers. Most interviews today consist of an assessment of tasks and team building skills and sadly, disabled candidates feel that they will be discriminated against. It is up to employers to find the correct funding or appropriate assistance to provide support on interview days as they can be a daunting experience. It is the company’s duty to provide a positive and accessible working environment.  


What can be done to encourage young people to be honest themselves?

Within most companies today, they have guaranteed interview schemes, so, for instance, if the applicant has a disability/condition that may affect their ability to carry out certain tasks, but they also meet the minimum standards required for that job role then they are entitled to an interview – provided that they give details as to what support they need.

When it comes to being honest about their personalities, young people must give employers and themselves the best possible chance of unlocking their potential whatever field of work they’re looking to get involved with. If a disability or condition is disclosed properly, it is up to the employers to invest, find and prepare for any additional technology or assistance that is required for that person to make the most of their opportunities.

The biggest problem we have is that schools and other secondary education institutions are simply not doing enough to promote what type of work/apprenticeships are available to young promising stars. In my own personal experience, in 5 years of secondary education, I only had one session in school about what I would like to do with my career. And I only saw a careers-advisor 3 times – Connexions.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding across the education sector, many institutions are desperate now more than ever to try and persuade their pupils to stay on after GCSE levels, in order to fund their own teaching staff. They are unwilling to build relationships with other employment outlets that provide career opportunities and apprenticeships.


Are companies advertising their facilities properly?

The biggest issue we still have today is the lack of diversity in TV/Promo advertising. Companies that have a range of commercials with which they use to promote their products lack a huge amount of diverse backgrounds. The Maltesers adverts created earlier this year is a huge leap forward but there is still more work to be done. Companies forget or don’t realise that the advert is seen by millions around the world and on social media sites etc, and whatever the footage – it counts as their first impression towards consumers. If the advert lacks diversity or portrays diversity as a negative subject, then consumers will be less attracted to their adverts – which therefore leads to a lack of applications for jobs particularly from young people – CYCLE.

Many companies still fear that risk of taking people on who are from a background that isn’t perceived by them to be similar to theirs. Compared to 15-20 years ago, opportunities were few and far between, and now jobs are being created to fit that employee’s potential entirely – particularly in the media industry. Another area for concern is the lack of knowledge or effort that companies have in terms of research for finding out what is available to improve their facilities. To give companies the benefit of the doubt, there are sadly, some jobs that are just not fit for a disabled person whatever the skills they have, but that still doesn’t mean that they can’t keep trying to find new ways or create jobs to support those skillsets. Technology has taken such huge strides in the last 20 years and will continue to get better. It is the company’s responsibility to take advantage of what’s achievable.


Is a ‘fast paced’ industry putting young people off?

Due to the fast-paced nature of our world today, many industries who advertise employment opportunities are lacking the patience to allow people settle into their roles. Whatever the job and whoever the person – it will always take time to settle into a company’s routines but this is particularly difficult for those who are young or who have disabilities.

Companies must remind themselves of what it’s like from an employee point of view to be starting a new role. It takes time, that if they feel they’re being hassled or expected to do a certain amount of work in a short frame of time, they must be given a fair chance to do their jobs to the maximum of their ability. If the required time or requested time is not met with fairness from the employer then the chances of the employee fulfilling their roles will be minimal. Some employees may have had to relocate, travel longer journeys or stay in temporary accommodation that they’re not accustomed to. I think it’s still important for the employee to make aware any issues or personal affairs to their employers during their introductory period. Particularly amongst an employee with disabilities or somebody who comes from a rural background and moves to an urban lifestyle. From my own personal experience – the transition is harder than some people expect it to be.


Are companies meeting employee needs, standards and expectations?

Generally – a lot of work needs to be done. Reviews need to be carried out and research needs to be maintained at the same level as all of the new technology comes out every day. Companies should consider themselves lucky to have any employee in any role and must be willing to invest in the extra time to help young people settle in. Schools again should be doing more to provide information on different types of jobs that are aimed at teenagers to help set them up for the real working world of employment.

I was told an unfortunate story about how somebody I knew who is partially sighted went into a new job – having made the company aware beforehand that she struggles to read smaller texts on computers screen and she needs extra built-in computer software to help her read the text properly. She turned up for her first day and they had nothing ready for her. She was frustrated with the company failing to meet her requirements that she resigned from her role 4 days later. This is why we still have a long way to go in terms of supporting mixed abilities. But ultimately, it is up to companies to be willing to take risks in order for that employee’s potential to be unlocked. Any failure of any form in trying to achieve this will not go down well with the employee. This could lead to a lack of confidence, low morale and self-esteem, embarrassment, humiliation and scarred for long periods that it may take a long time for the employee to recover.

There are still some workforces that are behind this. But they must show a willingness to learn from that employee so they can implement any further adjustments that need to be made.


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