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Providing opportunities to young people with disabilities in the workplace

I really enjoyed meeting Peter and Tom, who are with us as part of Leonard Cheshire’s Change 100 internship programme. I was inspired by their obvious passion and commitment to DFID’s work.

It was great to talk to young people with disabilities about how we could get more of their peers interested and involved in international development.

We also discussed how young people can bring fresh talent and energy into DFID and how intergenerational working can lead to new ways of thinking and working.

Baroness meets Tom and Peter from the Leonard Cheshire’s Change 100 internship programme.
Baroness Verma meets Peter and Tom from the Leonard Cheshire’s Change 100 internship programme. Credit: Jessica Seldon/DFID

Peter and Tom also challenged us to do more to help young people understand our work. This included raising awareness of our activity to tackle poverty in the world’s poorest countries and making sure our messages resonate with young people’s concerns.

I’m definitely going to reflect on those comments and feed them into our upcoming projects.

As a department we are committed to leaving no-one behind. We are working hard to put disability at the heart of what we do – for example we’re locking disability inclusion into the new Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals from September. We’re also making progress in embedding disability inclusion in all aspects of our work, following the publication of the Disability Framework last year.

It’s crucial that we get disability right as an employer too. I’m really pleased DFID is one of the 25 organisations to take part in the Change 100 programme this summer. The young people with disabilities that I met with today will develop their skills and experience whilst with us, but we as an organisation will gain from their talents too.

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