Extending the Reach

RNIB's Extending the Reach programme (EtR) works to place unemployed blind and partially sighted people with work experience opportunities at a range of employers.

Blind and partially sighted people can do almost any job. There are blind and partially sighted secretaries, car mechanics, nurses, scientists, stockbrokers, MPs, journalists, web designers and teachers.

Through the programme potential candidates are carefully matched to vacancies based on their experience and skills. All placements are paid, and through Big Lottery funding, RNIB are able to cover the cost of this training and support allowance on behalf of employers.

Applicants

RNIB's Extending the Reach (EtR) programme is open to all people with sight loss, not only those that are registered blind or partially sighted.

The scheme

By taking part in the scheme you can gain real life experience in a role within an organisation, which can help support applications for future jobs.

We will endeavour to place you in a paid role, within your chosen field, from accountancy, to teacher's assistant or administration. We carefully review all available placements and match applicants to roles, at a level that is appropriate to them.

Placements

All of the placements through the EtR scheme are part time, for 21 hours per week (three days per week) and are for 50 weeks. During your placement you will receive training and support allowance, of at least £7,080 for the year (based on 21 hours per week, for 50 weeks).

Participation in the scheme may result in a reassessment of the benefits to which you are entitled to, and a reduction in the benefits that you receive. If you would like to find out more information, and discuss your personal circumstances, RNIB can provide you with benefit advice on how you may be affected.

Support

We understand that you may require support throughout your placement. During your work experience, you will be fully supported by a member of our employment team, so if you have any queries or problems these can be resolved quickly.

RNIB will also work with your employer to ensure that they can effectively support you in your new role. This could include providing specialist equipment and training for you to do your role and guidance for your new colleagues, so you can work more effectively as a team.

When your placement comes to an end, RNIB will support you in finding a new role. This support begins during your placement, and includes interview practice, support in updating your CV and in completing strong application forms.
 
To find out more about the scheme, and discuss available placements, contact the EtR team:
Email: EtR@rnib.org.uk
Call: 0121 665 4265

Employers

If you are an employer and would like to find out more about the programme or offer a work experience placement to someone with sight loss visit the Employers Extending the Reach section.

We're here to help

Our Helpline is your direct line to the support, advice, and products you need to face the future with confidence. If you or someone you know has a sight problem, our specialist advice workers can help.

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