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PARALYMPIAN Liz Johnson has launched a new jobs platform for disabled workers.

The new website, called Podium, is the UK’s first jobs marketplace designed to cater for disabled talent. The platform is free to use and open for freelancers to create profiles, showcasing the untapped skill sets of the disabled workforce.

From June, the platform will be available for employers to post jobs, making the diverse talents of the disabled population directly accessible to businesses.

Liz, 34, has cerebral palsy and won gold in the 100 metre breaststroke final in the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics, 11 days after the death of her mother due to breast cancer.

Liz went on to create the disability consultancy The Ability People (TAP), which works with corporates including HSBC and Chelsea Football Club to improve the recruitment and retention of disabled talent in order to reduce the disability employment gap (28.6%), said:

“Working remotely has challenged the status quo. Businesses are fundamentally rethinking how they hire and how they operate. It’s proven that, if the majority depend on it, it’s quite possible to cater for a workforce with different needs.

“Now that we’re beginning to transition out of lockdown, it’s essential that we use this as an opportunity to tackle our shocking track record of disability employment in the UK and embrace a new approach to hiring disabled talent. That’s why we’re launching Podium.

“The disabled community is teeming with untapped talent and skill – all that’s left is to bring it to light. That’s where Podium comes in: connecting hiring managers and disabled freelancers via one, easy to use platform. We believe it has the opportunity to transform how disabled people find jobs and will enable our economy to benefit from the immense contribution this community is poised to provide.”

Adil Ghani, consultant at TAP and disability campaigner, added: “Podium puts the power back into the hands of disabled people when it comes to job hunting. Too often in the past I’ve found that the onus is on us to try to accommodate the employer’s needs, rather than the other way around. What’s so important about this platform is that it recognises the value disabled workers have to offer. It’s not charity, it’s business, and it allows disabled freelancers to work whenever, wherever and however we need to.”

  • Podium is free to use, charging 20% of the transaction once it has been completed.
  • Freelancers have the option to add a value on top of their own costs and nominate a charity to receive this. This amount is included in the transaction fee and donated by Podium to the charity.