John Hutton unveils plan to tackle negative views of disabled people among employers

Work and pensions secretary John Hutton announced a new scheme today to persuade employers to hire more disabled people.

The Employ Ability initiative, which will be piloted in Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester from September, will attempt to tackle negative assumptions about the skills of disabled workers and unfounded beliefs among employers that adaptations will be costly. It will also seek to demonstrate the benefits to business of hiring disabled staff and improve information on the issue for employers.

The government sees employing more disabled people as a way of reaching its targets of an 80% national employment rate and eradicating child poverty by 2020.

The official employment rate for disabled people is 50%, compared to 74% for the population as a whole, but the rate is much lower for groups such as people with learning disabilities.

A recent survey of HR professionals by Community Care, for our A Life Like Any Other campaign, identified key barriers to increasing employment among people with learning disabilities.

Among reasons cited for not employing people with learning disabilities, 88% of respondents said they did not target them in recruitment, 79% cited the need to adapt to accommodate them, and 68% claimed a lack of interest among managers.

Related articles
DWP study on disability discrimination act tracks employers’ disability attitude changes
Think-tank calls for welfare rethink after report finds persistent poverty

Contact the author
 Mithran Samuel




More from Community Care

Comments are closed.