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Identifying talent without bias

Vocational trainee Iona Greville started with Western Power Distribution (WPD) in July as part of Change 100, which is a programme of paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring for disabled students and recent graduates.

The program is the UK’s leading charity supporting disabled people to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. It aims to unlock the currently untapped potential of talented disabled students and to give organisations access to a talent pool bursting with ability, creativity and insight.

Here Iona explains about her placement and what it means to her. 

“I studied zoology at the University of Bristol as I am very passionate about the environment. I applied to Change 100 as it is a great scheme that offers students with disabilities a work placement, supporting and guiding them throughout the process. As a student with fibromyalgia, I thought it would be a valuable opportunity for me to gain experience as I wasn’t sure about my future plans.

“I was initially hesitant when matched with WPD due to my lack of electrical knowledge, but I’ve learnt so much and have had the opportunity to develop my analytical and research skills. I spent time in different departments, which allowed me to gain an insight into what WPD does and everyone has been very welcoming, which has made it a really enjoyable experience.

“I was able to integrate my zoology knowledge and provide valuable contributions when working with the environment team and found researching hydrogen vehicles for my own project very interesting.

“The placement has opened my eyes to career options that I hadn’t previously considered and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity. I have improved my interpersonal skills and now have the confidence to apply for future career positions in a broader field than I had anticipated, as I now realise that my skills and knowledge are interchangeable.”