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UK – Minister says recruitment has ‘critical’ role to play in getting more disabled people into work

04 December 2018

According to Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP, the UK’s recruitment sector has a “critical role in helping the government to achieve its target of getting one million more disabled people in work as soon as possible, but by 2027 at the very latest.”

Newton made the announcement at a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons which was hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative.

The event coincided with the publication of government statistics that found over 50% of people with disabilities of working age are in employment. Among non-disabled people, this figure stands at 81%.

The data also showed that there were an estimated 3.9 million people of working age (16-64) with disabilities in employment in July-September 2018, meaning that around 120,000 more people with disabilities were in employment than a year previously.

The UK Government has set a target of 4.5 million people in employment with disabilities by 2027.

Presentations at the event highlighted the business case for investing in disabled talent, advised attendees on how the Government’ Disability Confident campaign can assist businesses in tapping into this underutilised talent pool and offered tips on how to identify inclusive recruitment partners.

Kate Headley, Chair of RIDI and subject matter expert, commented on the event, “To date, RIDI has touched the lives of 500,000 individuals through direct hiring and the recruitment industry. However, there is no doubt that we still have a long way to go to achieve true disability inclusion. Bringing influencers together in this way enables us to share best practice and inspire other.”

The unemployment rate for people with a disability was 9.3% in July-September 2018. This compared to an unemployment rate of 3.7% for people without disabilities. Meanwhile, people with disabilities have an employment rate that is 30.1% lower than that of people without disabilities. This difference is often referred to as the disability employment gap.

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