Did you know – disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their non-disabled peers? It is estimated that only 6% of people with a learning disability have jobs, yet most disabled people can and want to work. With the right training and support, getting and keeping paid employment is very possible for many people with a learning disability.

Since we started job coaching in 2013, 77% of trainees who we have helped find paid work are still in employment.

Action For Kids is dedicated to helping disabled young people into meaningful work placements and long-term employment. To achieve this, we work closely with a range of partner employers and businesses who provide work placements, training and paid jobs to trainees, who are able to develop their skills and self-confidence while learning in real-world work settings.

In February 2018 we collaborated with one of our corporate partners, Schroders, to host our first 'Futures Day'. During this event, groups of AFK trainees were able to learn more about Schroders and participate in workshops and mock interviews.

In this blog post, Louisa Minter-Kemp, Corporate Responsibility Executive at Schroders, talks about the 'Futures Day' event and the opportunities for young adults with disabilities at Schroders.

Diversity and Inclusion at Schroders

At Schroders, we know that we need diversity of thought if we are to be the successful business we strive to be. This is about our people - who we bring into the firm and what makes them who they are; and about our culture - what we do to welcome diversity into the firm; for example, calling out inequality, celebrating diversity and listening to everyone. It’s about bringing your whole self to work, and having the support to be your best self, no matter what your background, gender, race, class, impairment or any other attribute. This led us to partner with Action For Kids in providing meaningful work placements to trainees through the Life & Work programme, and in January we successfully collaborated to host our first 'Futures Day'.

Collage of six photos showing disabled young people and staff at ShrodersFutures Day event

As our partnership with Action For Kids has developed in recent months; we wanted to find more tangible ways to develop young people’s skills while continuing to raise awareness and engagement with our own employees. The aim of our Futures Day event was to break down the barriers around the asset management profession, to support the young adults in developing their skills and confidence, and to illustrate the variety of career routes we offer amongst a diversity of people.

We were joined by two groups of young adults from Action For Kids with varying disabilities and a group of Schroders volunteers. The event saw several insightful workshops take place, including a careers carousel, mock interviews and networking lunch hosted by our volunteers.

Employee engagement

We received overwhelming support from employees to host the event and feedback highlighted the appetite we have within the business to do more. Across the business, we have many Employee Resource Groups which are run by employee leads. 'WorkAbility' is one of these which aims to ensure that all employees and applicants with impairments are given the same opportunities as their colleagues through support and adjustments.

Why is the partnership with Action For Kids important to Schroders?

We recognise that employment is important to everyone. It gives people economic independence, opportunities to socialise with others; to feel fulfilled and contribute to being part of society. Our partnership with Action For Kids enables Schroders to create opportunities for these young adults in a safe environment, focusing on roles that empower them and provide them with the steps and skills they need to develop their career. It’s imperative that we start to build an awareness and understanding of disabilities while reinforcing our diversity strategy and the vital need to create an inclusive workplace environment.

How does Schroders further support Action For Kids?

In 2017, we launched work experience opportunities with Action For Kids. To date, we have had two successful placements in our Technology and Catering teams. We were delighted to have received the Inclusive Gold Partner Award from Action For Kids for securing our first placement and look forward to hosting more AFK trainees in 2018.