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DRUK publishes its submission to DWP’s Green Paper “Improving Lives”

Just received from Disability Rights UK (DRUK): a copy of its response to the DWP’s  Work, Health and Disability Green Paper “Improving Lives”.

In it DRUK makes 25 recommendations for halving the disability employment gap consultation.

DRUK begins by  listing its ‘Top Ten’ priority recommendations.

At Number One:

The Government response to the Green Paper should commit to year-on-year progress towards the manifesto commitment. Regular reporting should include data on:

  • The employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people
  • The pay gap between disabled and non-disabled people
  • Both broken down by impairment group, industry sector, region and other key characteristics

…which makes sense, given that a perennial problem in all matters relating to disability is the quantity and quality of data, and how it’s collated

At Number Three:

Government should commit to year on year improvement in the proportion of apprenticeships taken up by disabled people; with exemption from apprenticeship entry criteria extended from people with learning disabilities to all disabled people.

DRUK thus welcomes ‘the Government’s commitment following the Maynard Review to reducing barriers to apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities’.

Paul Maynard MP and his Taskforce published its Independent Report in July 2016. It’s Introduction began as follows:

The government is committed to reaching 3 million new apprenticeship starts by 2020 and halving the disability employment gap.

Although participation rates for disabled apprentices have improved recently and more disabled people are employed than ever before, there is still work to be done in both areas. Employment rates for people with learning disabilities hover around 6.8% and the lifelong costs of economic activity are considerable.

As a result, in May 2016 a taskforce was commissioned by the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP, and the Minister for Skills, Nick Boles MP, to explore access to apprenticeships for those with learning disabilities. Improving access to apprenticeships will allow more people with learning disabilities to benefit from the opportunities available through apprenticeships and work.

As others have noted, it has proved incredibly difficult to break that 6.8% barrier, but we live in hope…

RESCARE

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