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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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How WAM Works?

There are two aspects to WAM, the Employer Network and the WAM Placement. The Employer Network is made up of WAM Leaders (employers offering placements) and the WAM Community (wider group of employers exploring the process). The Community meet twice a year through themed events to network & share knowledge and experience. WAM Leaders meet four times a year to discuss issues pertaining to hiring people with disabilities.

Companies become WAM Leaders when they offer paid, mentored work placements for graduates with disabilities which are usually 6 months in duration. These placements are mainstream graduate level placements and offer an opportunity for the employer to gain from an enthusiastic, skilled employee while the graduate gains work experience relevant to their qualification - all underpinned by the support of the WAM team. It also offers employers huge opportunities to learn about how to support and get the best from employees with disabilities with the support of our online and offline training programmes which form part of the placement process.

The following is a brief overview of the placement process

  • Employers identify the placement role(s) available including the qualifications and competencies required for the post or they can contact WAM if they are hiring a graduate with a disability.
  • WAM undertakes all advertising for the placements available. Through our WAMworks graduate database, we can immediately send the employer details of graduates who may have the relevant qualification and skills required for the placement alongside an updated CV if necessary. In addition, we collect CVs from those who are not registered on the database and pass these onto the employer.
  • Employers conduct all CV screening and interviewing in line with their mainstream practices. AHEAD can provide disability equality or pre-interview training if required.
  • When successful candidates are identified by the employer, WAM undertakes a Needs Assessment process in order to identify any supports required by the graduate.
  • WAM provides training on the mentoring model through our recently launched online training programme to in-house staff prior to the commencement of all placements.
  • WAM supports all parties involved in the placement process from the beginning of the placement until its completion

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