Do You Really Feel Disability Confident as an Employer? 

Date posted: 7th May 2024

A leading national charity, today, called upon company bosses to employ more blind and partially sighted people (BPS) and relaunched its internship Get Set Progress programme as one proven solution. BPS people face ongoing employment challenges, with a 27% employment rate compared to the general population’s 76%, in spite of the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s announcement at his Autumn Statement last year to get more disabled people into work*. Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Get Set Progress internship programme wants to work with employers to increase this employment rate.

The hugely successful internship programme has recognised the importance of building employers’ confidence and does this through supporting employers on the programme every step of the way, whilst they benefit massively from the value a blind and partially sighted intern brings to their workplace.

Although only one in four blind and partially sighted people are in employment today, there are huge numbers that are motivated to get into work and showcase their skills.

TPT’s internship programme has a proven track record with 85% securing full time employment after six months of leaving the programme. Businesses who take part have also reported feeling more confident and better equipped in recruiting blind and partially sighted people.

TPT collaborates with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to deliver the thriving Get Set Progress internship programme which is now calling for applications from businesses to take part in the next round. The window to be part of this next round of 2024 internships is now open and organisations are encouraged to submit proposed intern role(s) with an accompanying job description.

To apply Visit TPT Grants Portal.

Zappar is one of the businesses who have taken advantage of the programme this year. Its Product Director, Chris Holton, said:

“I’ve been super impressed with the Thomas Pocklington Trust Get Set Progress internship scheme to date. From clearly explaining the goals of the scheme, through the seamless grant application, helping interview candidates to onboarding, the team has been first class in ensuring that both Zappar and the successful intern have everything we need. It has been brilliant working with the internship team at TPT, and they have been patient and constructive throughout. It’s a fantastic scheme and we were blown away with the quality and experience of the candidates and ultimately the successful applicant who is now in their second month and already making a huge impact. I couldn’t recommend the programme enough to any organisation.”

Emily Lamb a previous Marketing and Fundraising intern at Focus Birmingham had this to say about her time on the programme:

“The Get Set Progress internship programme has improved my confidence, enabling and encouraging me to pursue my career ambitions. I now feel informed, equipped and excited to embrace future employment opportunities!”

Our ambition for the programme continues to grow and this year we are looking to attract 30 employers to offer blind and partially sighted people an exciting internship within their organisation. Employers from all sectors and industries are encouraged to apply.

Internships are full time for nine months and have a salary based on the real living wage from the Living Wage Foundation. The internships are designed to be development opportunities and each intern has a dedicated training plan, receives a mentor and intensive employability support to provide a meaningful experience. Alongside this, the employer receives support throughout the nine months from the internships team including assisting in the advertising of the role, recruitment and selection process and training for employees on sight loss in the workplace. As part of the application to host an intern, employers can also apply for a grant from Thomas Pocklington Trust towards the cost of the salary for each intern.

Meet the employers from last year’s programme.

The last round launched earlier this year saw 27 interns placed in employers across industries including the commercial, creative and third sector. Internships have been created in finance, HR, marketing and public affairs.

If you have an exciting opportunity you would like to recruit into your business, then apply for the programme now which closes in June 2024.

If you would like further information or to discuss the programme in more detail, please get in touch at:

*Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) research. 

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