Accessing the right careers support if you have a disability can be challenging and frustrating. Some disabled jobseekers have found that careers advisors have a limited understanding of disability so aren’t equipped to help them find the right career for them.
Evenbreak, a user-led careers platform for disabled people, has launched a Career Hive offering careers support, events and workshops to disabled jobseekers. Read on to find out more about the hive from Jane, the founder of Evenbreak, and visit our jobs board, created in partnership with Evenbreak, to find a job suitable for you.
We know that disabled people face additional barriers when looking for work as recruitment processes can be inaccessible in some cases.
Many recruiters and employers think that disabled candidates aren’t as good as non-disabled applicants, or that employing them will be expensive, risky or problematic. But there are inclusive employers out there, it’s just tricky knowing which ones truly are.
Tailoring careers support to disabled jobseekers
There are a number of places that offer careers support, but our candidates were finding that general careers support often wasn’t suitable or available to them.
For example, at times it isn’t accessible or relevant to disabled candidates, and is sometimes delivered by careers coaches with little understanding of the barriers we face.
Some people have said that the provision had restrictive eligibility criteria, dependent on which postcode you live in, which benefits you’re on and how old you are. Others have reported that they were ‘too disabled’, ‘not disabled enough’ or have the ‘wrong’ impairment.
We really wanted to fill this huge gap in existing provision, so at the end of last year, we received a grant from Nesta to enable us to do just that. With this, we developed the Career Hive, which offers relevant and accessible careers support specifically for disabled people looking for new or better work.
It is developed and delivered by disabled career professionals with lived experience of the barriers we face.
There is also signposting to other organisations that may be able to offer specific support, and a whole load of online resources, including videos, checklists and guides.
Events and workshops that support disabled jobseekers
There are regular events and workshops, including ‘Meet the Employer’ events, where particular employers tell you about the kinds of roles they offer, what the recruitment process looks like, how to ask for adjustments and what they are looking for in candidates. Plus, you can ask them questions.
There is, of course, access to the Evenbreak job board, where employers who are specifically looking to attract more disabled candidates advertise their vacancies. Employers include Channel 4, John Lewis, Unilever, Tesco, Facebook and many more.
Most importantly, there is access to a team of qualified careers professionals with lived experience of disability, who offer individual and group support. They can help you develop your CV, prepare for an interview, or assist with confidence-building and identifying transferable skills.
This may be done as a one-off coaching session on a specific issue, or a series of sessions looking at a range of problems. It is designed to meet your needs in ways accessible to you.
This new service was co-produced by the Evenbreak team (all of whom are disabled) and a focus group of Evenbreak candidates, as we wanted to ensure that the service met the real needs of disabled candidates.
The service will be continuously improved through responding to feedback from people using the service. Other services planned for the future include offering peer support from successful candidates who can mentor and support other candidates.
If you feel you would benefit from careers support offered by and for disabled people, come and have a look around.
To find jobs from inclusive employers who are looking to attract more disabled candidates, see our jobs board with Evenbreak. To find relevant and accessible careers support for disabled candidates have a look at our Career Hive.
By Jane Hatton – Founder of Evenbreak
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