222018Feb

The importance of disabled people

Today I spoke in a debate on the importance of disabled people to economic growth. I stressed that the wording of the debate was too crude because it is not just about needing disabled people to be in jobs to boost economic growth – more importantly they deserve the same career opportunities as able bodied people. So it’s not just a question of economics but also equality.

Thousands of disabled people struggle to find work every day – we must ensure that employers see the benefits of diverse workforces and hiring those who have overcome obstacles. Plus we must empower and assist the disabled so that they have the confidence and the tools to work on an even playing field.

That is why I fully back the Government’s commitment and strategy to get one million more disabled people into employment by 2027.

I am also delighted that 100,000 more people with disabilities were in work in 2017 than in 2016. I suggested a number of ideas to help achieve the target including better promotion of Access to Work Grants, the importance of mental health support and working with employers to challenge the current culture. Watch my speech in full: