College steps up commitment to being Disability Confident

West Lothian College makes its mark by becoming the first college or university in Scotland to achieve accreditation as a Disability Confident Leader.

Disability Confident is a UK Government scheme that encourages employers to recruit people living with disabilities and those with health conditions. It is managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

There are three levels of accreditation - Disability Confident Committed, Disability Confident Employer, and Disability Confident Leader. After being reaccredited as a Disability Confident Employer last year, the college committed to going beyond that this year.

College principal, Jackie Galbraith, said: “I am very proud that West Lothian College has been accredited as a Disability Confident Leader. This shows that we have enhanced our commitment to recruiting, retaining and supporting people with disabilities. There are so many ways that employers can make adjustments to support people who are disabled and there is very good financial support for employees through the DWP’s Access to Work scheme. I would encourage every organisation to sign up to being a Disability Confident employer.”

Alison Tulloch, HR Business Partner, led the college through the process of providing evidence to achieve the certification. She added: “The process of completing our Disability Confident Leader validation allowed us to reflect on what we currently do and what more we could do to attract and retain employees who are disabled or have a health condition. I found it valuable to network with other Disability Confident Leaders and would be happy to support any other college or local employer looking to take this step.”

West Lothian College hosted DWP’s Disability Confident annual employer event on Thursday 20 July, which attracted more than 30 people from numerous businesses who learned how to become Disability Confident in their workplace.

At the event the college was presented with a certificate to recognise the milestone of becoming a Disability Confident Leader.

Lorraine Anthoney, Disability Employment Adviser Leader from DWP Disability Confident, said: "We want to encourage employers to sign up to Disability Confident so they can wider their options to recruitment for disabled people. I think it’s great that West Lothian College is the first educational campus in Scotland to become a Disability Confident Leader. It’s an incredible achievement and I know that their staff and students are so proud that they’ve taken this step forward.”