Building a Disability Work Readiness Programme
Over 60% of disabled people are not born with a disability but acquire it throughout their lifetime. While traditionally, an employer could only accommodate disabled talent by making changes in infrastructure and working practices, Lloyds Banking Group decided to take it one step further and help develop disabled talent on their chosen career path. Sarah Redmond shares her journey:
- In 2014 LBG set up a Disability Work Readiness programme, in partnership with Remploy, where participants could build their skills for work and enhance their employability within the organisation.
- The programme had 2 aims:
- to support disabled individuals through workshops on CV writing, interviewing and personal brand development,
- to raise the organisation’s disability awareness and challenge colleagues to change perceptions and unconscious biases.
- Built as a talent pipelining initiative, the programme also helps participants build their confidence to go out into the wider working world, under the support and mentorship of LBG employees.
- Before, only 2% of LBG employees had disclosed their disability to the organisation. The programme has now helped raise the figure up to 9% and the team won’t stop until they go beyond the 15% industry average.
- Sarah shares her tips to get you started on a disability at work programme:
- Set up dedicated teams and D&I workplace assistance programmes to nurture people who felt their self-worth disappear because of something out of their control,
- Work with specialised organisations like Remploy, Vercida, Working Mums, Armed Forces etc to build your talent pipeline,
- Design your programme (think of pilot, programme length, policy considerations, associated costs),
- Embed and measure success.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Disability Work Readiness Programme teaches us that it doesn’t take big budget to be more inclusive. All you need is a commitment for change and the necessary support network from leadership to drive change. The programme went from making 46 placements in its first year to just shy of 400 last year.