Zac is the latest young person to join our peer panel.
The peer panel of 18 to 30-year-olds make sure our work represents the views of young people.
The WiLL project, which is being led by sight-loss charity Vista, and funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, aims to help over 500 people into work, training or learning opportunities in rural areas.
Zac is an artist, graphic designer and illustrator and is currently looking for work.
Whenever we have a new peer panel member join, we ask them to tell us what they would want employers to know.
Zac who has autism wanted to join the peer panel to share his unique perspective and gain confidence in himself.
Here are Zac’s messages to employers.
Make the application process human
We are fortunate to live in a time where computers and the internet exist, the world is smaller and closer than ever before yet somehow it feels a little colder. Technology should assist with the application process yet, too often becomes the whole process.
Some people may never interact with another human during the whole process of applying for a job. By adding something human to the process, for example, sending an email confirming you’ve received the application, will let the applicant know that the time they’ve taken applying the job is valued. By creating some connection for the applicant, even if their application is not successful, it doesn’t have to feel like a waste of time.
First impressions count for everyone involved
Finding work is all about making a great first impression yet, too often the employer forgets that this also applies to them, it doesn’t matter how you come across in an interview when your website hasn’t been updated for months or the job description didn’t inspire the applicant. Make sure that you know the values of your company and if they don’t inspire you how are they ever suppose to inspire a possible applicant or client. Show some personality in your website, add some character to your job description, they shouldn’t just be a list of facts about the job. Make a first impression that counts.
Respect the unexpected
No single world view is the same, everyone has opinions, some people have differences or disabilities that are clearly visible but even more people’s differences and disabilities aren’t clearly visible. If you don’t understand something about the applicant don’t be afraid to ask and show an interest in a respectable way. Be empathetic: never think you know someone until you’ve seen life through there eyes. Anxiety, in many forms, is more prevalent than ever before and showing an interest and an attempt of understanding can go a long way for some. Include this on your website, and in job descriptions. Stating that you are inclusive and understanding, and having it somewhere clear to see can help tremendously with someone who worries about how they might not fit in in your workplace.
By young people, for young people
Since launching, we have listened to young people and shared valuable insights on their views with businesses.
More recently young people have designed, built and delivered assessments for businesses and contributed to our training events.
Now the peer panel will help us make our future vision a reality which is to have Access Generation run by young people, for young people.
The peer panel members represent the voice of young people, help us to validate our research findings and will soon run a campaign to promote our new accreditation.