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A group of talented students are launching their careers as the first placements start on Leonard Cheshire Disability’s new internship scheme Change100.

The charity launched Change100 to help address the shocking fact that more than half of working age disabled people are out of work by matching top businesses with exceptional disabled students. Each of the 17 participants will receive coaching and guidance throughout their three-month placement, supporting them to thrive and excel within the workplace.

The scheme has engaged with some of the UK’s leading companies and employers, including Barclays, Experian, Prospects, SABMiller plc and Standard Life, all of whom are hosting interns this summer.

Tom Ward, who has dyslexia, will be stepping up and joining SABMiller’s Human Resources department. Tom has family links in the brewing industry, as his Grandfather is now retired after a long career as a brewer in Burton-On-Trent.

Tom said: “I’m so excited about starting my placement and my Grandad is really proud. I’m studying law at the University of Leicester and I am really interested in employment law so working within HR will be a brilliant opportunity to learn real skills to put my passion into practice.

“Change100 is such a great way for young disabled people to gain vital work experience. It’s such a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it being the beginning of my career journey”.

Geraldine Percival, Talent and Development Manager at SABMiller said: “Our partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability and their pilot Change100 internship scheme, which supports disabled students, has been very positive. We are pleased to have successfully placed three interns who will be joining us over the summer.  Supporting these students reinforces our commitment to diversity and helps them in their first steps to a successful career”.