Businesses across Leeds urged to ‘give people a chance’ as part of Yorkshire Evening Post campaign
BUSINESSES in Leeds were today urged to “give vulnerable people a chance” as part of our “Let’s Work Together” campaign.
There are 50,000 disabled people in work living in Leeds, out of a working population of 1.51 million, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Yorkshire Evening Post is marking day five of our series for the campaign, run jointly by the YEP and Reed In Partnership, with an interview with MP Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work.
Mr Tomlinson said: “One of the biggest challenges employers face is to fill all their skill gaps.
“But for those businesses that are prepared to make small changes, they will reap huge benefits.
“This is good for their business and society as a whole.”
The YEP is highlighting the Better Working Futures scheme - available at Jobcentre Plus - in a bid to raise awareness and help more people, who might struggle to find a job for a variety of reasons, into work.
Government minister Mr Tomlinson said: “In the last five years, we have seen 950,000 extra disabled people in work. This is a record high, with more disabled people working than ever before.
“We have also set an ambitious target that by 2027, we hope to get an extra one million disabled people into work.
“We want businesses to engage and consider offering opportunities. It will only work if the business is prepared to take a chance and talk to support organisations such as Better Working Futures, run by Reed In Partnership, and available through the Jobcentre.
“There is support and funding out there for any business that needs guidance or to give them the confidence to employ someone with a disability or health condition.
“Adaptations can be made or special equipment purchased or anything that is needed to make it possible.
“I often talk to young disabled people and all they want is the same opportunities as everyone else. They are not looking for any big favours. Like everyone, they want to contribute and be needed.
“It can be a really beneficial move all round.”
David Royle, operations manager for Better Working Futures in West Yorkshire, added: “Employers are typically unaware of the support we can provide to them if they employ someone with a disability, but part of our provision is supporting both the employee and employer with Access To Work applications and reasonable adjustments within the workplace.
“We know that employees with a disability, who work for employers who are understanding of their health condition, show increased loyalty to their employer which in turn creates higher levels of sustainable employment.”
Better Working Futures is Reed in Partnership’s name for the Work and Health Programme in Yorkshire and the North East, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and European Social Fund.
If you are struggling to find work and would like to know what free support is available to help you, visit betterworkingfutures.co.uk
Disability employment facts
Charity Scope says that disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people, with their most recent figures showing that 46.3% of working-age disabled people are in employment, compared to 76.4% of working-age non-disabled people.
There are 3.9 million people with a disability are currently working in the UK - but nine million more who want the opportunity to work, and have valuable skills and experience to offer, are limited by the opportunities available to them.