The benefits of recruiting disabled apprentices

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Why employ disabled apprentices and those with LDD?

There are both legal requirements and benefits to your business when thinking about why employing more disabled apprentices or those with LDD.

Legally, your organisation should operate fair and open recruitment for all, including those with a protected characteristic. The following legal requirements apply.

  • The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments that will remove barriers to disabled people seeking to find and keep a job. It is a legal requirement that employers do not disadvantage an individual either in recruitment or in the workplace due to them holding a particular protected characteristic.
  • The Public Sector Equality Duty requires all public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different people in all their work.

Recruiting and supporting more disabled apprentices and those with LDD, could help your organisation:

  • address the disparity between NHS apprentices declaring a disability/learning disability and those across all sectors
  • build a workforce that is reflective of the local community it serves
  • improve patient care, satisfaction and engagement 
  • improve staff morale
  • improve retention rates and lower sickness absence
  • improve performance to achieve strategic goals 
  • access a currently untapped talent pool of around 4.6 million disabled people who are currently unemployed, addressing the workforce supply challenges facing the NHS.

In addition to direct benefits, it's important to understand the role of bias in recruitment and retention and how to tackle it with behaviour change training. This will ensure that organisations are seen as attractive employers to future employees

Workforce Disability Equality Standard and its importance

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is similar to the well-known Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), which evaluated the experiences of black, Asian, and minority ethnic staff across the NHS, leading to a number of trusts taking action to improve their organisational culture.

  • The first WDES reports are due for publication by August 2019, which will collect information on the experiences of disabled staff across their organisation. 

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