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Disability strategy to improve access to employment

6 January 2014

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A new strategy has outlined government plans to help more disabled people get into and stay in work. 

The proposoals look at what can be done for both employers and individuals to enable more disabled people to have a career.

Although the employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the past few years, they remain significantly lower than for non-disabled people. 

According to the Labour Force Survey this year, the employment rate for working age people with a long-term health condition is 58%, compared with 77% for working-age people without a health condition. For disabled people it is lower, at 45%, and for individuals with a mental health condition it is only 37%.

The paper sets out some high-level proposals about:

 – Developing more effective approaches for supporting people with mental health problems to get into work, focusing particularly on better alignment between employment and health services and building on the proposals outlined by the Task and Finish Group and the Psychological Wellbeing and Work project

 – Enabling more young disabled people and people with health conditions to make a successful transition from education to employment, enabling high aspirations through initiatives such as role models and knowledge packs

 – Improving our mainstream employment support offer for disabled people and people with health conditions by developing the evidence base about what is most effective in supporting them into employment

Minister for Employment, Esther McVey, said: “It is right that disabled people and people with health conditions have the opportunity to use their skills and talents to play a full role in society, and working is a key part of this.

“This strategy is a really important step in the discussion about what we need to do to ensure employers understand the benefits of hiring disabled people and people with health conditions, and that people get the right individualised support from the government.”

More on the strategy is available on the Department for Work and Pensions website