A million disabled people in the UK can and want to work, but are unemployed, according to Government findings.
Discrimination in the workplace isn’t a new thing, but thankfully it is something people are becoming less tolerant of, demanding solutions to a fairer and more equal workplace for all.
Back in 2015 Virgin Media partnered with disability charity, Scope, to help transform the lives of disabled people through digital technology. It’s a partnership that has gone from strength to strength, and in light of recent findings, has led to the creation of a brilliant new initiative.
‘Work With Me’ is a ground-breaking, three-year campaign set to challenge the attitudes and discrimination disabled people can face throughout the recruitment process by focusing on tackling the barriers disabled people face getting into, and staying in, work.
The campaign launches today, alongside newly released research commissioned by Scope to highlight the extent of the issue. Carrying out the survey, Opinium conducted 2,000 online interviews with UK adults with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, and 2,002 online interviews with UK adults who are not disabled* – all between 4-8 September 2017.
Findings show that when applying for jobs, only half of disabled applicant submissions result in an interview, compared with 69 per cent for non-disabled applicants. Disabled people also, on average, apply for 60 per cent more jobs than non-disabled people in their job search (on average eight applications compared with five) – ‘Work With Me’ is inviting members of the public, employers, and Government to work together to address these issues more quickly.
Virgin Media’s partnership with Scope is part of its own long term focus on improving inclusion at work and transforming the lives of disadvantaged people through technology. In support of ‘Work With Me’, Virgin Media is funding Scope’s new digital employment support service for disabled people due to be launched in Autumn 2017. The partnership ambition is to reach one million disabled people with employment information and support by the end of 2020, so they can get into work, stay in work and realise their career ambitions.
After working with Scope to look at its workplaces, policies and practices, Virgin Media is taking steps to better understand and transform how it supports disabled employees. This includes the training it gives to managers to support disabled colleagues, as well as access to buildings and practical measures such as reasonable adjustments.
The company has also taken a number of actions to improve the experience of disabled customers, including: increasing training for employees so they can offer appropriate help and support, and ensuring accessibility features are built into all new products and services.
Be part of making change happen, find out more and share #WorkWithMe on your social media networks.
Scope will also be publishing a series of powerful stories, videos and photography over the coming weeks to highlight the issue so that we can secure everyday equality for disabled people.