By helping students with disability obtain paid internships and work, a special initiative at Swinburne University of Technology is making a difference to students who would otherwise miss out in the job market.
The AccessAbility Careers Hub is a partnership between Swinburne’s disability and careers service areas and disability employment services provider WISE Employment that has already helped students with disability get paid internships and work.
“Nationally, twenty per cent of Australians face employment barriers simply because they live with disability,” says Swinburne’s Vice-President (Students) Dr Andrew J Smith.
“Underlying assumptions, stereotypes and myths associated with disability shut people out of work, and graduates with a disability can find themselves more than twice as likely to be unemployed as other graduates.
“Our AccessAbility Careers Hub aims to improve these outcomes by creating a lived experience of inclusion for students living with disability that validates their skills, interests and professional motivation, while also helping employers to be more disability confident.”
IT student James Herrero, has already benefited from using the Hub.
”The AccessAbility Careers Hub has made it easier to communicate the relevance of my skills and I’ve used WISE Employment’s GradWISE program to get paid work with Randstad. In fact, Randstad offered me a graduate job prior to completing my degree!”
The Hub provides targeted careers services for higher education students and graduates with disability. Staff help students understand their professional value and how to communicate this to employers.
“The Hub helps students to better engage with their studies because they are learning about the kind of professionals they want to become,” says AccessAbility Careers Hub Coordinator David Eckstein.
By helping employers to be more disability confident, the Hub is also changing the recruitment landscape in Australia.
To learn more, visit swinburne.edu.au/aach