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Blueprint for reducing disability employment gap revealed

A volunteer (L) helps a physically chall

The Disability Commission today published “Now Is The Time”, its ground-breaking new report showing how the Prime Minister can keep his promise and deliver a truly transformative strategy to greatly improve the employment prospects of disabled people.

Currently, just 52% of disabled people (and only 5.6% of those with a  learning disability) are in employment compared with 81% of non-disabled people.

The report makes several key recommendations ahead of the publication of the Prime Minister’s much-anticipated National Strategy for Disabled People.

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Lord Shinkwin, Commission Chair, said: “We have a once in a generation opportunity to improve the life chances of disabled people – we really hope the Prime Minister will consider our recommendations and adopt them in his National Strategy for Disabled People.”

The report published by the CSJ Disability Commission makes five key recommendations to vastly improve the employment prospects of disabled people throughout the UK.

The recommendations, which would help reduce the disability employment gap, include: 

– Increasing supported routes into employment

– Introducing mandatory workforce reporting 

– Leveraging Government procurement

– Reforming the Government’s Disability Confident scheme  

– Reforming the Government’s Access to Work scheme.

The Commission is chaired by disabled Conservative member of the House of Lords, Kevin Shinkwin, and comprised of both disabled and non-disabled members from the business, academic, disability and parliamentary worlds. 

Lord Shinkwin says, “The CSJ Disability Commission believes its recommendations will go a long way to removing the barriers disabled people face, and as such will enhance their independence, financial stability, social inclusion, and wellbeing. We really hope the Prime Minister takes them on board and delivers on his promise of a truly transformative National Strategy for Disabled People.”

Importantly, the report extends beyond employment to cover four other areas of life for disabled people: transport, education, housing, and access to goods and services.

It makes extensive policy recommendations which, if enacted, would substantially increase the ability of disabled people to participate more fully in society and realise their potential.

Lord Shinkwin adds: “The launch of the Prime Minister’s National Strategy for Disabled People should mark an important milestone as the country recovers from the economic and social pain caused by the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected disabled people’s income, health, and employment prospects. The Commission believes that central to the Prime Minister’s strategy should be robust policies to ensure equality of opportunity in employment and to support the ability of disabled people to live independently”. 

The Commission was set up with the backing of the DFN Foundation to feed into the Prime Minister’s National Strategy for Disabled People.

 The DFN Foundation, founded by David Forbes-Nixon, is committed to developing a new enabling vision that will seize the disability employment agenda and drive tangible and sustainable change. 

Tags : Disability Commissionreport
Andrew Seymour

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