Are you wondering…can I do an apprenticeship if I’m disabled? and how easy will it be? – If so, read on.
In 2016/17 there were 484,520 apprenticeship starts and of those, 50,470 had a declared disability or/ learning difficulty – that’s 10.3%
Apprenticeships are open to everyone over the age of 16 and eligible to work in England and this includes disabled people and / or those with learning difficulties as virtually all apprenticeships can be made accessible.
What rights do I have as a disabled apprentice?
Apprentice employers must make reasonable adjustments if you are disabled and your training provider should provide you with support whilst you are studying.
Never assume that because you are disabled that you cannot do an apprenticeship – all employers as well as colleges and schools have a legal duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make sure that disabled people are not disadvantaged.
Read two case studies of apprentices whose employers have made adjustments for them in the work place.
Do I have to mention my disability?
It is up to you whether you mention your disability or not. However, there are advantages to telling your training provider and employer. Your training provider will normally have an additional learning support (ALS) adviser who you can talk with in confidence.
What kind of support and help can I get?
- Specialist equipment, such as a voice activated computer
- Sign-language interpreters
- Digital recorder for keeping notes
- Extra tutorial help
- Changing the height of desks
- Providing handouts on different colour paper, or in a larger font
- Allowing you extra time to complete any assessments or tests.
When should I mention my disability?
There will be an opportunity in the application process to mention your disability. This is done through the equal opportunities form. In addition, on the national apprenticeship website there is an ‘about you’ section where you can mention your disability and this will not be shared with your employer.
Making sure that apprentice jobs are accessible to disabled people means that employers have a wider pool of candidates to choose from. Employing an apprentice with a disability can also help to make the workplace a more accessible place generally, including making it accessible for workers who develop a disability, who they wouldn’t want to lose.