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


WAM Programme Statistics 2023

The Willing, Able, Mentoring (WAM) Programme is an initiative of AHEAD established in 2005 and is currently funded by the Department of Social Protection. The WAM Programme at AHEAD are delighted to bring you the latest The WAM Programme Statistics 2023 report  which is a in-depth analysis and key statistics from the programme to date. The previous version, WAM Statistics 2020 is still available to download. 


…it was a game changer for me. It opened my life to a world of possibilities in my career and my disability has never been an issue the supports and the understanding for them have made my life the one it is now. And finally, the WAM Programme gave me a life and a career.

This report is mixed methods, primarily informed by quantitative data from various datasets within The WAM Programme and from surveys distributed to WAM graduates who completed a placement in addition to purposive sampling. Included in the report is information on the types of most commonly requested accommodations in the recruitment process, accommodations in the workplace, remote working, disability profile, disclosure and the type of work placements employers have advertised with The WAM Programme. The report also highlights the employment transition rates of WAM graduates after completing their WAM placement and their own narrative around their experience of WAM. 

Below are some key statistics and takeaways from the The WAM Statistics 2023 report

Key Statistics 

  • 81% of WAM graduates secured employment as a direct result of their WAM placement. 
  • 1 in 5 applicants required accommodations for a traditional interview.
  • 1 in 7 applicants required accommodations for a virtual interview. 
  • 1 in 3 required accommodations for testing and screening recruitment processes.
  • Two-thirds of workplace accommodations do not incur any cost to the employer and are in relation to work tasks. 
  • 42% of graduates require time off to attend disability related medical appointments
  • 92% of WAM graduates gained confidence in their ability to work in a mainstream environment
  • 69% of WAM graduates were no longer in receipt of any disability or illness payments.

Key TAkeaways

  • 81% of graduates secured employment as a direct result of their WAM placement, while only 9% of graduates were still seeking work opportunities one year after completion of their WAM placement. This highlights the importance of recent work experience as a stepping stone to secure further employment opportunities.
  • WAM is a safe space to disclose with 98% of graduates disclosed their disability while on placement with a WAM employer and 69% of graduates were more confident in disclosing to a mainstream employer after their WAM placement. 
  • Virtual interviews are the most accessible for WAM applicants with only 1 in 7 requiring accommodations. In contrast, 1 in 5 require accommodations for a traditional interview and 1 in 3 requiring accommodations for testing and screening processes in recruitment. 
  • The majority of workplace accommodations do not incur any cost to the employer. Two-third of accommodations were in relation to work tasks which included a range of practical and easy to implement changes to the workplace.
  • Mental health condition is the most common disability cohort coming through The WAM Programme with 22% of graduates having more than one disability. 
  • The majority of WAM placements are now longer than 6 months in duration and increasingly more and more employers offering graduate programme roles. 

Download the full report here

Extremely beneficial opportunity to acquire experience of mainstream employment, which I believe was critical in securing subsequent employment. Prior to the WAM placement, multiple and repeated attempts to secure employment were unsuccessful.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

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