Disabled people are moving into jobs, training or work placements at a rate of more than 100 placements every working day, as part of the government’s drive to help more disabled people into work.
More than 78,000 have been helped into work through the government’s package of employment support since 2011.
The government’s campaign – #DisabilityConfident – is part of the government’s long-term economic plan to build on the increasing employment rate for disabled people.
Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “This government is determined to boost the employment rate for disabled people and is helping more and more people with a disability into work. Our measures are working to help people fulfil their potential.
“Our Disability Confident campaign is backed by the country’s biggest businesses and has started touring the country to showcase the impressive talents of Britain’s 6.9 million disabled people.
“People with disabilities account for a fifth of the workforce and are tremendously valuable to the British economy – helping us compete in the global race.”
The government’s jobs support has helped:
- More than 40,000 were helped into lasting work through the Work Programme.
- Almost 6,000 enterprising disabled people set up their own business using the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA), which provides a grant and mentor to help new start-ups get off the ground.
- Nearly 21,000 disabled people Work Experience placements that have been taken up by disabled people, offering up to 8 weeks’ hands on practical experience in the world of work.
- More than 10,000 started sector-based work academies. These are targeted at jobseekers who want to work but lack experience enables people to make the first step onto the jobs ladder.
Launching the Disability Confident campaign in July, the Prime Minister told 300 business leaders of FTSE 100 companies and SMEs that it is time to dispel the myths about the complexities of employing disabled people.
Access to Work, which provides financial support towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, supported 31,400 disabled people to keep or get employment last year and the recent set of statistics show the highest level of new claims since 2007 – with 10,390 new applications.
Scores more are set to benefit from the scheme, as it is rolled out to cover work experience placements that people arrange themselves.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of Easyjet, said: “Already over 100,000 disabled entrepreneurs employ an equivalent number of people in their business start-ups. This highlights the extraordinary strength of the entrepreneurial flair and talent amongst the disabled people of this country.
“I encourage disabled people out there who have a germ of an idea for a business, but are unsure of how to go about it, to take advantage of the support the government has on offer to help you make your business fly.”
Many disabled people and people with health conditions can and do work, and while the employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the years, they remain significantly lower than for non-disabled people.
The government this month launched its disability employment strategy to look at what else can be done for both employers and individuals to ensure more disabled people fulfil their career aspirations.