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5 February 2019

Trying out: internships for youth with disabilities

More and more companies and development organisations in Uganda are committed to hire persons with disabilities as staff and to include them in livelihood programs.

However, we got the following concern: we share our vacancies and mention that persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply but they are not applying! We identified three major issues at stake:

  • Persons with disabilities often so not have the experience as required in the vacancy and decide not to apply
  • Persons with disabilities apply but do not mention that they have a disability. They are often not selected for an interview because of the highly competitive labour market.
  • Companies might be committed to hire and include persons with disabilities, and have undergone disability awareness training and know in theory what is needed from them to accommodate somebody with a disability. But they need to experience what this means in practice.

This is why we came up with our Make 12.4% Work Internship program; the first batch of interns with a disability will start 4th of February. We started by sharing the opportunity with our the Make12.4% Members; 10 of them immediately reacted that they were interested. For our first round of internships we carved 12 positions for 3 months, to be suitable for graduates with different types of impairments to apply, and posted those positions widely in our network. Out of the applications we pre-selected 3 persons per position and trained them on professional skills, self-esteem and interview skills. This week they are going for the job interviews! This is of course a great experience for a job seeker, even if they do not get the position.

We already have 5 other Make 12.4% Work members queuing up to have an intern with a disability in their company/organisation so the persons who are not selected for the present positions can apply for other opportunities in line with their qualification and career plan.

Want to know more about the Internship Programme or the Make 12.4% Work campaign? Check out wecanwork.ug or contact Anneke Maarse.

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