The Government has announced that the number of people who are currently out of work has dropped again.
Disability Gap in the UK
With more and more people finding work in a post financial crisis pre-Brexit United Kingdom you would expect that the number of people with a disability who were in employment would also be increasing. But, despite growth in the economy and increasing employment levels the UK still has an employment rate gap of 30 percentage points, for disabled people, which is much higher than in other countries.
Labour Market must Work for Disabled Workers
The Learning and Work Institute has called for the Government and employers to come together to make the labour market work for people with disabilities and health conditions. The Institute, is backing their call for support from the Government and employers with the launch of an Opportunity for All initiative which is supported by Shaw Trust.
Opportunities for All
The Opportunity for All initiative aims to increase awareness of solutions to the problem by promoting positive action led by leading health and employment experts.
The focus of Opportunity for All is very much on increasing employment opportunities for disabled people.
The experts who are providing the insights, analysis, and proposals for ways forward are all well-known advocates for an accessible labour market, including House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee Chair, Rt Hon Frank Field MP, former Disability Rights UK Chief Executive, Liz Sayce, and Paulette Cohen, Diversity and Inclusion Director at Barclays.
Too many Talented People Missing Out
Too many talented people are being denied the opportunity to work because of the lack of understanding that employers have about disability. Yet despite the last two governments describing disability employment as a priority, those disabled people who are in work are likely to be paid £1.50 less an hour than their able-bodied colleagues.
Ten Years to Bridge Gap
Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, has acknowledged that the record high in employment in the UK but the Institute believes it will take ten-years to bridge the gap between employment rates for able-bodied and disabled workers.
It is not an issue that the UK has been avoiding, there has always been an ambition to address the challenge, but the scale of action has never been sufficient to deliver meaningful results.
Opportunities not Obstacles
A lot of employers are starting to focus on the potential that someone with a disability has rather than their problems, but there are still a lot of people who do not understand the issues that disabled people must address in order to gain and maintain employment.