MPs and peers offer plan to support a million disabled people into work

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability will be launching their report, “Ahead of the arc” from 3pm on December 7th in the Boothroyd Room of Portcullis House. The report highlights that on current trends and policies the Government is certain to miss its target to halve the disability employment gap.

It offers the Government details of what new interventions in the economy will be required for it to succeed in fulfilling its manifesto commitment to halve the gap between the employment rate of disabled people and that of non-disabled people by 2020.

The report focuses upon three policy areas currently under-utilised or neglected by Government:

1) A right to return to work for newly disabled workers to retain their jobs

2) Using the Government’s leverage as the biggest purchaser of goods and services in the economy to stipulate disability inclusive recruitment and retention in public sector contracting

3) Ensuring that growth sectors of the economy such as construction, care, energy generation and food and drink etc  have sector wide policies that target disabled people as the workers who will fill future skills shortages in these sectors.

Dr Lisa Cameron MP and chair of the APPG on Disability said, “This report looks at factors that the DWP green paper on employment and disability largely overlooks – are there enough future vacancies and how can Government ensure that disabled people are able to either create jobs or take opportunities in major areas of the economy? It argues for a new relationship with disabled people in which Government spending  also has a social dividend that helps them gain work; and Government funded bodies such as Innovate UK and the Business Bank target a proportion of their funding at supporting disabled people. That funding could be used to help disabled people become self-employed where appropriate, start businesses, invent products or services that overcome their barriers to the labour market or even create new markets that benefit everyone.

Philip Connolly , policy manager of Disability Rights UK and one of the authors of the report said, “New and additional job opportunities in the economy will make back to work support more effective and in turn provide a real incentive for disabled people to move off benefits, where their health condition makes this appropriate. We urge the Government to act on the report and shift its focus from cutting disabled people’s benefits to improving their support to get and keep jobs.”

Download ‘Ahead of the arc’ – word version

Download ‘Ahead of the arc’ – pdf version