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Disabled graduates’ job prospects dented by COVID – AGCAS report

28 July 2021

New research from AGCAS and the University of Southampton has identified significant differences in the experiences of recent graduates, based on whether they have a disability.

Graduates without disabilities are more likely to be in full time or part time employment (73%) than graduates with disabilities (40%). Graduates with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed (20.5%) than graduates without disabilities (15%) or be volunteering or undertaking unpaid work (6% compared to 2% for graduates without disabilities).

Graduates with disabilities have found it more difficult to find graduate jobs they want to apply for since the start of the pandemic, are significantly more likely to have their long-term employment outlook affected by Covid-19 and to feel that their job prospects have been damaged by the pandemic compared to graduates without disabilities.

When asked about their professional contacts, networking abilities and relationships with friends and family, Disabled graduates were significantly less confident in all aspects of their social capital in comparison to graduates without disabilities.

There is more that employers can do to support Disabled graduates. Graduates with disabilities are more likely to find the recruitment process challenging (66%) in comparison to graduates without disabilities (63%) and are statistically less likely to report that they have felt supported by employers since March 2020 than graduates without disabilities.

The report recommends that employers ask candidates whether they require reasonable adjustments, adjust recruitment processes accordingly and provide structured support and mentoring for disabled graduates who may find the transition into employment more challenging. Read the report here.