13 Sep 2018
YOUNG people with disabilities are taking their first step on the career ladder, thanks to a commitment by Wheatley Group to tackle exclusion in its communities.
Earlier this year Wheatley, Scotland’s leading housing, care and property-management group, pledged to set aside 10% of places on its Modern Apprenticeship programme for young people with a disability.
But there were so many high-calibre applicants that Wheatley has exceeded its target, with six - 16% - of the 38 new recruits having a disability.
The commitment was made after a plea from Glasgow City Councillor, Robert Mooney, who is also a Board member of City Building (Glasgow), which is jointly owned by Glasgow City Council and Wheatley.
He said: “I am delighted that the Wheatley Group have met and exceeded their target. The barriers that young people with disabilities face are immense, and the actions of Wheatley Group can make a huge, positive impact on their lives. I was very happy to work with the Wheatley Group to establish this target, and I am heartened by the enthusiasm with which they took up this task.
“The initial target was an important statement that we believe in young, disabled workers. Today’s news is proof that young disabled workers have an incredible amount to offer, and I look forward to working with Wheatley Group and others to tackle the barriers to employment that they face.”
The six new recruits live with a range of disabilities including learning needs and mental health conditions. They will learn on the job with Wheatley and its partner organisations in housing, care, property-management, environmental services and business administration, while studying for an SVQ qualification.
The award-winning apprenticeship scheme is delivered by Wheatley’s charitable trust Wheatley Foundation. Director Lorraine McLaren said: “We are determined to support people from our communities access the opportunities they deserve to get on in life.
“Young people with disabilities face more barriers than many and this year we encouraged them to come forward and apply for an apprenticeship with us. We guaranteed 10% of places for people with disabilities and are delighted we have managed to go well above that. There really were some outstanding candidates and we’re all looking forward to welcoming the young people to learn with us.”
The first 14 of the 38 new apprentices began work this month with the rest starting between now and October. 32 of the 38 live in a home owned or managed by one of Wheatley’s subsidiaries including GHA, Cube, Dunedin Canmore, West Lothian Housing Partnership, Loretto and Barony.