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Ticket to Work releases new research! The Employer experience: hiring young people with intellectual disability

EDGE Employment Solutions partners with National Disability Services to open doors to meaningful employment for students with disability through the Ticket to Work initiative.

Together, since 2016 we have supported over 55 students with disabilities into employment. What a success this has been! We are going to continue working collaboratively to make sure that when we are on the other side of the COVID19 pandemic, those doors swing back open.

Ticket to Work was keen to hear about what worked for Employers when supporting young people with intellectual disability in their workplaces. They commissioned research to inform the development of resources based on what has worked, aiming to ensure Employers have the right support and information. The new research is entitled: The Employer experience: hiring young people with intellectual disability. Below are some highlight findings along with recommendations for Employers.

The research strongly reiterates that with the right individualised support Employers are successfully employing people with intellectual disability and that it is positively contributing to their business.   

When Employers were asked what motivates them to hire a young person with an intellectual disability:

  • 83% said it demonstrated community commitment and social responsibility
  • 79% said to ‘give someone a go’

A large majority of Employers support the concept of diversity and inclusion in the business, and see the employment of people with disability as something that can enhance corporate or community image and reputation and adds to the ‘bottom line’.

Below are key recommendations for Employers drawn from the research:

Recommendation 1:  Employers to make use of work trials and placements, particularly work experience and after school work

As many Employers are unsure if the young person will have the ability to perform the job, work trials and work experience provides an opportunity to see the person in action and determine if it is a right fit, and give a young person opportunity to build their experience.

Recommendation 2: Employers to access practical advice on engagement strategies and approaches

The research illustrates that more flexible and collaborative approaches to designing roles for Employees with an intellectual disability can achieve a strategy for success.

Recommendation 3: Employment consultant to understand Employer needs to support strategically hiring

It is important that the employment consultant really understands the Employer needs to uncover those operational concerns that could be resolved by strategic hiring.

Employers require demand-led support, including tools and mechanisms to improve the matching of job candidates with disabilities to opportunities. This support must cover improved determination and development of the skills needed for today’s labour market, and refined tools for the linking of qualified candidates to Employers’ business needs.

We hope that you found this information helpful. To read the full report and access other valuable resources visit the Ticket to Work website. As a final note, here is what other Employers who have employed people with an intellectual disability have to say:

“Customers just love her. I am sure we have customers that come in just because they want to be served by her”.

“Being able to see the growth of self-belief in the trainee students over the year is incredible. The students used to use such negative self-talk and did not believe they were capable of tasks they were assigned, but now they confront every challenge put before them with confidence and tenacity.”

“By having these young people in our workplace we are increasing overall staff awareness of people with a disability.”

“He is here 10 minutes early every day. That brings a little bit of a smile to my face.”

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