Changing young peoples’ lives through the Employment Hub

The Employment Hub is giving the next generation of disabled employees and entrepreneurs valuable, on-the-job work experience.


Giving back to the disabled community

Introducing the Employment Hub

Access is everything to disabled people – but for all the wrong reasons. Every time a disabled person leaves their home, they are worried about accessibility. More often than not, venues that claim to be accessible are not remotely disability friendly once you arrive. We are committed to improving disabled access for all so that more disabled people can enjoy the same opportunities as our able-bodied peers.

All the funds we earn through our disability audits are reinvested back into the other side of our business, The Employment Hub, which helps young, disabled people to get into employment.

According to a survey from the Papworth Trust, young people aged 16-18 were at least twice as likely as their non-disabled peers to not be in education, employment or training.  The survey also found that by the age of 26, disabled people are four times more likely to be out of work or not in education compared to non-disabled people. It simply isn’t good enough.

How does the Employment Hub work?

Our first Employment Hub took place at Ashfield Academy in Leicester. Ashfield is a SEND school, which means it specialises in educating and supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The Employment Hub is a mock office environment where Access Rating and other employers can engage with the students in their optimum environment whilst giving them a taste of what a workplace environment is like.

This environment alongside the expertise of the staff makes Ashfield the perfect place for the Employment Hub to thrive. The needs of the students are being met, so barriers like access do not get in the way of learning.

Our ambassadors such as GB Tennis star James Shaw along with Rich Copson, (co-founder of Access Rating,) provide confidence classes and work experience placements to build up the students’ confidence whilst providing them with employable skills and helping them to discover their future careers. 

The Employment Hub at Ashfield has been such a success that we aim to take this blueprint and apply it at other SEND schools all around the UK. Students who take part in the Employment Hub will have access to more work experience placements and apprenticeships within Access Rating itself and other businesses. 

Work experience placements for students

We’ve already partnered with some amazing organisations as part of the Employment Hub, such as the Leicester Tigers Foundation, but we are looking for more businesses that can offer these hard-working students work experience placements. 

With an estimated 700,000 disabled children in the UK, opening up the world of work in this way not only closes the inequality and employment gap experienced by disabled people but also makes sense economically. Disabled people are a huge resource of talented employees that are perpetually overlooked. 

We are providing an opportunity for businesses and organisations to be part of a pivotal part of a young disabled person’s skills and education. Please get in touch for more information.

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