Inclusive and Accessible Apprenticeship Placements in 4 Easy Steps
(by Henrika Varniene)
Establishing any special needs of an apprentice is crucial to:
- – Clarifying the barriers to fulfilling the apprenticeship.
- – Decide whether your SME would be able to offer a valid position under the circumstances, depending on your prior experience and knowledge.
Decide how to implement needed measures. These will include preparing:
- – Your facilities: adapting or providing certain facilities, furniture or equipment to assure easy access and mobility, appropriate working environment and efficient communication.
- – Your staff: creating staff awareness to those special needs and disabilities and the way to deal with them, including the adequate attribution of responsibilities and authorities.
Test with the apprentice the adequacy of any infrastructure:
– Adapt, as needed, any facilities and equipment that you have prepared in advance of onboarding her/him, based on her/his inputs.
– Every person with special needs should feel in the safe zone while working at the SME. This means that not just mentor but also all the other employees should be aware of the needs of the apprentice and interact with them in an accessible manner.
Build an inclusive culture in your company
– Make sure the subject is not a taboo in the company, that your employees create an environment in which the apprentice feels comfortable to openly discuss her/his special needs and that your staff is empowered to fulfill them.