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Joanna Cherry backs disability employment programme

I am pleased to lend my support to Leonard Cheshire's Change 100 programme, which brings together top employers and talented students and graduates with disabilities to offer three months of paid work experience. Since its launch in 2014, the innovative programme has worked with over a hundred employers across the UK to host interns, including Standard Life, Taylor Wimpey and Lloyds Banking Group. These highly-coveted internships help remove barriers experienced by people with disabilities in the workplace to allow them to achieve their full potential. Successful applicants receive mentoring and guidance throughout their paid placement, enabling them to develop and thrive within the workplace. Despite having the right skills and experience and wanting to work, many people with disabilities still face significant barriers to entering employment. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to taking action to halve the disability employment gap. Leonard Cheshire’s award-winning Change 100 programme works with employers to help them better understand the complexity of disabilities and to better support their employees through specialist advice, training and support. Through Change 100, businesses can become leading disability-inclusive employers. I would urge employers to sign up for the programme and play their part in enabling all of Scotland’s people to achieve their full potential in the world of work.