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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Updated return to campus 2021

At the University of Cumbria, we value and celebrate the diversity of our student and staff community, and are committed to ensuring that equality and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do.

Support from the Careers & Employability Service

Every student regardless of background, ethnicity, age, disability or sexual orientation etc should have equal access to a wide range of graduate jobs and opportunities, and have the very best chance to show their abilities and be treated fairly. The Careers & Employability Service recognises that some students may have concerns about job seeking and career planning; for example, how to disclose their disability or sexuality, whether their age, background or qualifications will be a barrier, so we have put together the following information which we hope will help you.

  • Understand your rights

    The Equality Act 2010 protects people in Great Britain from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society on the basis of the following nine characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. These are referred to as ‘protected characteristics’.

    The Careers & Employability Service provides information and advice on equality and diversity issues. Click on the tabs below for information on sources of support in relation to the Equality Act.

    ‘Positive action’ against discrimination

    Positive action is allowed under the Equality Act and can be taken to encourage and recruit people who are disproportionately under-represented in the organisation. For example, measures can include the use of positive action statements in recruitment adverts, targeted adverting of jobs, pre-application training, open days, mentoring schemes.  The job is still given to the most suitable candidate, regardless of whether they have a particular characteristic or not, but the positive action measure should encourage applicants from the under-represented group to apply and perform to the best of their ability

    There are a number of employers committed to improving diversity and inclusion within their organisations so have ‘positive action’ policies. You will find links to these in the tabs below.

    Useful links

    Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: useful information and contacts on the University of Cumbria website.

    Gov.Uk: Discrimination: your rights - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) explains what you can do if you think you have been unfairly treated.

    Citizens Advice: If you think you’ve been unfairly treated when applying for a job

    ACAS: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Your Rights to Equality at Work: When You Apply for a Job

  • Race and ethnicity

    It is illegal for an employer to discriminate directly or indirectly against you because of your race or ethnicity. Within the Equality Act 2010, race means colour, nationality, citizenship, ethnic origin and national origin.

    To find out more about the Equality Act and your rights around racism and disclosing your ethnicity to an employer, these websites are helpful:

    ACAS: Race Discrimination

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and Your Graduate Job Hunt.

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Race discrimination

     

    Employers committed to equality and diversity in their organisations

    Bright Network: partners with over 300 employers and diversity is central to their mission of helping the brightest succeed in their careers.

    Enei: the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion. Lists over 300 employers committed to equality and diversity in their organisations.

    Inclusive companies: challenges the lack of diverse representation within UK based organisations and ranks the top 50 most inclusive ones.

     

    Organisations providing support to students from ethnic minority backgrounds

    Black Young Professionals Network empowers Black professionals around the world to connect with each other and global corporations.

    SEO/London  prepares talented students from ethnic minority for career success.

    Targetjobs: Aspire Targetjobs has partnered with leading employers who want to meet more Black heritage students. They run networking events enabling students to connect with top employers and develop the skills for success.

    Wcan: social enterprise dedicated to the personal and professional development of Black women.

    Windsor Fellowship: charitable organisation, delivering personal development programmes enabling talent from diverse communities to succeed.

    #10000BlackInterns helps transforms the horizons and prospects of young Black people by offering paid work experience across a wide range of industries.

     

    Sector specific

    Charity and Public Sector

    Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship gives people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to see what a career in the Civil Service is like.

    CharityWorks offers a fast-track taster programme to talented BAME applicants to prepare them to launch a career in the non-profit sector.

    Creative Industries including Publishing and Journalism

    Creative Access: their mission is to support talented people from groups that are under-represented to enter the creative industries.

    Harper Collins offer 12 month rotational placement traineeships to candidates from ethnic minorities.

    Journalism Diversity Fund: bursary-awarding body that funds training from the National Council for the Training of Journalists for people from diverse backgrounds.

    Penguin Random House: The Scheme is a paid six month traineeship for ‘voices that aren’t currently being heard in publishing’.

    Screen Skills offer Film Forward, a programme designed to address under-representation in the UK film industry.

    Taylor Bennett Foundation: charity that exists to encourage graduates from a minority ethnic background pursue a career in communications.

    Business and Finance

    ACINRecruit: social enterprise set out to boost ethnic representation within the Insurance industry.

    Uncovering Prospects in the City: run careers events for high potential students of Black heritage who want explore careers in the City of London.

    Future Leaders: runs workshops and conferences helping diverse students achieve the best in an inclusive business world

    Law

    Aspiring Solicitors: helps members secure training contracts in law firms regardless of ethnicity, social background, sexual orientation, disability or long term health condition.

    Diversity Access Scheme: funding for either the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

    Society of Asian Lawyers: representing and supporting Asian Lawyers in the UK

     

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

    AFBE-UK Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers.

    BBSTEM is a non-profit organisation campaigning for balance and representation of Black individuals in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

     

    Job sites and recruitment agencies

    1. co.uk

    Diversity Job site

    Ethnic Jobsite has been serving the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community for a decade

    Rare Recruitment specialise in diversity graduate recruitment

    The Diversity Dashboard posts jobs from Britain’s most inclusive companies

  • Disability and health conditions

    Finding suitable work and planning a career can be a major concern for many students with a disability or health condition.

    The Careers & Employability Service can offer additional support and can provide information, advice and guidance on accessing disability confident employers and voluntary organisations, disclosing your disability and requesting reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process and beyond.

    If you feel a chat with a careers advisor would be useful, you can book an appointment on My Career Enriched. Remember we are here to help throughout your studies and for up to 3 years after your graduate.

    More and more employers have a disability confident culture. This means that they openly value the strengths and talents that employees with disabilities or health conditions bring and recognise that disability is no barrier to success.

    The Government’s Disability Confident Employer Scheme aims to increase understanding about disability, challenge organisational culture and assist employers develop inclusive recruitment practices. The scheme has three different levels. The higher the level, the more disability confident they will be.

    Examples of disability confident employers can be found on our information sheet "Accessing Disability Confident Employers and Voluntary Organisations" here: disability confident employers

    Useful links and articles

     

    Disclosing your disability or health condition is very much a matter of personal choice. If you are worried about disclosing, you may find it useful to talk it though with the Careers and Employability Service. You can book a confidential appointment via My Career Enriched. All our appointments are available face-to-face, or by telephone or Skype.

    Alternatively, you may find some of your concerns answered in our information sheet disclosing your disability

     Useful links and articles

     

    Employers are legally required to make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure that a disabled employee is not treated less favourably than their non-disabled counterpart. “Reasonable adjustments” might include additional accessibility support or a change in the assessment format to enable you to demonstrate your full potential.

    Most employers provide an outline of their recruitment process, so applicants know what to expect, but if you are still unsure, it is perfectly reasonable to ask. For example, the selection process may involve written tests, tasks, an interview or group activities which you know will put you at a disadvantage compared to other applicants.

    Examples of reasonable adjustments that an employer could make include:

    • A rest break in between the interview and assessment test
    • Use of a sign language interpreter
    • Assistive technology (eg larger screen, screen reading software)
    • A verbal test rather than a written one
    • Extra time to complete a test
    • An interview room with level access

    Remember that whilst you do not have to ‘disclose’ your condition when you are applying for a job, if you are going to ask for ‘reasonable adjustments’, then you will need to say that you are disabled or have a health conditon and you will need to specify what kind of adjustment would help

    Always summarise the adjustments you feel would help in an email so there is a written record of your needs. It also means your request can be fowarded to people in the company who may have responsibility for equipment, or buildings for example. It’s important too that you tell the recruiter as soon as you receive the invitation to attend an interview or assessment day. This gives them time to prepare and also creates a posiitve impression of your planning and organisational skills.

    Reasonable adjustments in the workplace

    Access to Work (ATW) provides government funding for people with disabilities in paid employment. You can apply for an ATW grant, which helps pay for reasonable adjustments in the workplace. This can help pay for items or services such as computer software or special equipment, note-takers, taxi fares to work if you can’t use public transport.

    Useful links and articles

  • LGBTQ+

    It is illegal for an employer to discriminate directly or indirectly against you because of your sexual orientation. 

    To find out more about the Equality Act and your rights around sexual orientation these guides are useful:

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and your Graduate Job Hunt

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Sexual orientation discrimination

    Stonewall works with institutions to create inclusive and accepting cultures and has a useful information and advice section

     

    How to find LGBT+ positive employers

    Bright Network: partners with over 300 employers and diversity is central to their mission of helping the brightest succeed in their careers.

    Enei: the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion. Lists over 300 employers committed to equality and diversity in their organisations.

    Inclusive companies: challenges the lack of diverse representation within UK based organisations and ranks the top 50 most inclusive ones.

    LGBT+jobs.co.uk : jobs board for LGBT positive employers.

    National Student Pride: runs the UK’s largest LGBT+ student recruitment fair.

    Proud Employers: jobs board for LGBT+ inclusive employers.

    Stonewall maintains a list of top 100 inclusive employers and campaigns for the equality of LGBTQ+ people across the UK

     

    Internships and Work Experience

    Inside & Out: helps LGBTQ+ students develop an understanding of the investment banking sector

    Divercity in Law: helps LGBTQ+ pursue a legal career in the City

  • Sex and gender identity

    It is illegal for an employer to discriminate directly or indirectly against you because of your gender. Provided you are doing similar work, or work of equal value, you are entitled to the same terms of employment regardless of gender.

    Here is some useful advice on recruitment and key equality and diversity issues:

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and Your Graduate Job Hunt.

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Sex discrimination

    The Equality Act has some exceptions where being treated differently due to your sex is lawful. For further information on exceptions, see the Equality and Human Rights Commission: Sex discrimination section.

     

    Finding gender positive employers

    https://www.bitc.org.uk/the-times-top-50-employers-for-women/

    https://www.bitc.org.uk/report/the-times-top-50-employers-for-women-insights-report-2020/

    https://www.enei.org.uk/membership/our-uk-members/

     

    Internships and Work Experience

    Targetjobs Events: specific events in collaboration with employers to attract and support women.

    Fresh Look: for first and second year female students interested in investment banking.

    JP Morgan Chase: Winning Women Undergraduate Programme provides an entry into financial services.

    PWC: Women in Business.

     

     

    Gender identity

    To be protected by the Equality Act, you don’t have to disclose your gender during the recruitment process. But if you wish to transition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission recommend that you discuss your gender identity with your employer so that they can support you. It remains however a personal choice.

    There is some excellent advice for and to support trans people here:

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and Your Graduate Job Hunt

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Gender reassignment discrimination

    Stonewall works with institutions to create inclusive and accepting cultures and has a useful information and advice section

    There are useful links and contacts too on our own Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages

     

  • Age

    It is illegal for an employer to discriminate directly or indirectly against you because of your age. To find out more about the Equality Act and your rights around age these guides are useful:

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and Your Graduate Job Hunt.

    Equality and Human Rights Commission: Age discrimination

    If you started your undergraduate degree when you were over 21, or your postgraduate degree over 25 years old, you will be defined as a mature student.  Mature students bring a wide range of experience and motivation for studying with them, and represent a large proportion of our student population at the University of Cumbria. For some of you, it’s your first degree, or you may be aiming for a career change. Many of you will be balancing your study with other commitments and facing the challenges that this brings.

    Here are some FAQs that our mature students often ask:

    Won’t employers think I’m too old?

    No need to apologise for your age! It’s not an indicator of how well you can do your job. Furthermore, you don’t need to disclose your age on your CV or application. Mature graduates often offer valuable experience and invaluable transferable skills gained from life experience and from working in different fields, all of which employers greatly value.

     

    Can I still apply to a graduate scheme, or are they just for young applicants?

    There is no age limit to graduate schemes. For more information about graduate schemes, go to our Finding jobs and Getting Experience section on the Student Hub.

    Can a mature applicant apply to an entry level graduate jobs?

    Definitely! If you are re-training, or changing career direction then like everyone you need to start with an entry level position and work your way up the career progression ladder.

    Everything on my CV relates to my previous career. How do I make it relevant to my new career aim?

    Focus your CV on what is relevant to your new career aim – for example, your degree, dissertation or project achievements, relevant work or voluntary experience. Put this information so it appears first on your CV and give less space to information that isn’t as relevant.  Your early career information can be summarised. However, remember all experience is valuable, so refer to it in positive terms, highlighting your transferable skills.

    For more advice on creating a CV and tailoring it to your career aim, see our CV resources section on the Student Hub.

  • Social mobility

    Social mobility refers to the concept that everyone should be able to access the same career opportunities regardless of socio-economic status, family or educational background. Unfortunately students and graduates from diverse backgrounds still face significant barriers accessing the most competitive careers.

    This article explores the issues of social and class background that students often face:

    Targetjobs: Equality and Diversity Issues and Your Graduate Job Hunt

    Finding employers committed to social mobility

    Many graduate employers now monitor and record the social background of applicants with the aim of attracting a more socially diverse workforce. Here are some examples:

    Guardian 300 employer preferences according to schooling (see page 18)

    Enei: the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion. Lists over 300 employers committed to equality and diversity in their organisations.

    Funding

    If you have financial concerns about doing a placement or internship, contact the Money Advice Team in Student Services to find out about bursaries, scholarships and funding that might be available.

     

    Organisations offering paid work experience, internships or support to students and graduates from low socio-economic backgrounds

    Several organisations are committed to improving social mobility and offer schemes to support students and graduates from non-traditional backgrounds to gain work experience and apply for specific graduate schemes.

    Aspiring Solicitors: helps members secure training contracts in law firms regardless of ethnicity, social background, sexual orientation, disability or long term health condition.

    Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme

    Creative Access: helps to support talented people from groups that are under-represented to enter the creative industries.

    Penguin Random House: The Scheme is a paid six month traineeship for ‘voices that aren’t currently being heard in publishing’.

    Screen Skills offer Film Forward, a programme designed to address under-representation in the UK film industry.

    Other sources of support

    The Sutton Trust champions social mobility through programmes, research and policy influence

    The Social Mobility Foundation runs an Aspiring Professionals Programme offering tailored support to young people across 11 careers sectors.

    Future Leaders: runs workshops and conferences helping diverse students achieve the best in an inclusive business world

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