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Government aims to increase employer disability awareness

22 November 2013

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Employers attitudes are more of a barrier to disabled jobseekers than transport issues, research has shown. 

A series of conferences are taking place across the country with the aim of dispelling myths to increase the number of disabled people in the workplace,

The conferences are part of the Disability Confident campaign launched by the Prime Minister in July, when he 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.

The conferences aim to showcase the talents of the 6.9 million disabled people of working age in Britain. 

Minister for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “Research shows that more disabled jobseekers cite employers’ attitudes as a barrier to work than transport, which is why we’ve arranged the first ever national roadshow to support employers to become more confident about hiring disabled people.

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“Although the employment rate for disabled people has increased gradually over the years, we know that all too often the talents of disabled people in the workforce are left untapped. One in 5 of us have a disability and doing more to employ disabled people and provide services for them could help businesses tap into the £80 billion purple pound.” 

Research shows the significant value of employing disabled people:

 – Employing disabled people can help increase the number of Britain’s 12 million disabled customers who use a business or service.

 – People with disabilities generally stay in a job for longer, have a strong commitment to their job and lower rates of absenteeism.

 – Adjustments – funded through the Access to Work scheme – are easy to arrange and often benefit other staff and customers.

Access to Work – the flagship government programme to help disabled people get or keep a job – provides financial help towards any extra costs faced by disabled people in mainstream jobs. It can cover travel expenses, specially-adapted equipment or support workers.