Equity and employability: A study into the challenges faced by healthcare learners with a disability and/or learners pursuing part-time work

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An increasing amount of evidence suggests that learners within Higher Education (HE), and graduates, are struggling with their transition into the workplace. With the increased prominence of workplace learning requirements, these challenges are becoming more evident for learners during HE studies. This study aimed toidentify the challenges faced by learners and graduates transitioning into the healthcare workforce, and the challenges experienced by key groups such as healthcare employers and other influencers within HE. The key focus was on disability, part-time work and transitions into the workplace. Thirty-two individuals participated in an online survey focused on equity and employability. Questions were both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Participants were learners, graduates, academics, career advisory staff, and employers. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified eight themes. Challenges identified by participants included work-life balance, stigma and stereotypes, organisational and individual empowerment, navigating additional administrations tasks, information and signposting, consistency in language and messaging, advocacy, and exemplars for guidance. The study highlights the responsibilities of all involved with HE provision, and the importance of collaboration with employers to inform, educate and advocate for all learners to maximize employability opportunities and enhance transitions into employment. Policy and practice in this area should quality assure the robustness of the support, aiming to meet individual needs, including education to empower and facilitate individual agency, as well as reviewing the visibility and accessibility of resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2023


  • disclosing
  • employability
  • Equity
  • part-time
  • stigma
  • student
  • transitions
  • university

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