AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


WAM Programme Statistics 2020

The Willing, Able, Mentoring (WAM) Programme is an initiative of AHEAD established in 2005 and is currently funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). The WAM Programme at AHEAD are delighted to bring you a brand new report on the analysis and key statistics from the programme from 2012 onwards.

WAM changed my life. Without WAM I would not have gained the experience and confidence to do the job I do

In this report, you will find a range of information relating to the number and type of paid work placements, or internships, WAM have provided with employers since the foundation of the programme, an analysis of applications and workplace needs assessments conducted.  The report also details findings from a survey conducted with previous graduates placed via WAM on employment progression after their placement and what benefits they gained as a result.

Key Statistics:

  • 80% of WAM graduates secured employment as a direct result of their WAM placement
  • 4 out of 5 applicants did not require any interview accommodations
  • Over 480 WAM Programme positions were advertised to graduates with disabilities over the last 8 years
  • Two-thirds of workplace accommodations do not incur any cost to the employer
  • 94% of WAM graduates gained confidence in their ability to work in a mainstream environment
  • 71% of WAM graduates were no longer in receipt of any disability or illness payments.

Key Findings:

  • WAM has seen a substantial increase in the number of placed graduates with mental health difficulties, significant ongoing illness and autism.
  • WAM is a safe space to disclose with 97% disclosing their disability on placement while 66% are then more confident in disclosing their disability to mainstream employers after completion of their placement.
  • A rise in employers offering longer contracts than the standard six month minimum and offering ring-fenced graduate programme positions.

Download the full report here

Placement got me back on my feet and into employment which I have continued in for the last three years. Gained great confidence to return to the workforce and learned how to manage my disability

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182