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Gloucestershire Business News

Employers committed to supporting disabled workers

More than 2,200 employers in the South West have signed up to the Government's flagship Disability Confident scheme to-date, showing their commitment to supporting disabled people in the workplace.

New figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveal that 2,269 in the South West have signed up to the scheme so far. The initiative champions inclusive employment and encourages businesses to recruit and retain disabled people.

The number of Disability Confident employers across Britain now exceeds 20,000, benefiting more than 11 million people, and comes at a time when the Government has announced it is redoubling its efforts to help more disabled people into work. An extra 315 Disability Employment Advisors (DEA) are also to be recruited at jobcentres across the country by May.

Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, said: "I know the value of having a diverse and inclusive workforce, so it is fantastic to see so many employers across the South West become Disability Confident. I would encourage other organisations, big or small, to follow their example and help disabled people unlock their full potential.

"Disabled people will not be left behind as we build back fairer. We are committed to seeing 1 million more disabled people into work by 2027 and as we recover from the pandemic we are redoubling our efforts to boost the support for disabled jobseekers."

The recruitment drive of new Disability Employer Advisors builds on the 13,500 new work coaches across Britain taken on by the department over the past nine months to support Britain's recovery effort.

Read more: Argos building brought back to life as Jobcentre 

The additional 315 DEA roles will start to be filled from this month. They will bring total numbers to 1,000 once recruitment is complete by the end of May.

DEAs cover every jobcentre in the country and working alongside work coaches, specialise in finding the right support to help clients who have a disability or health condition into work.

All of the interventions from the UK Government's Plan for Jobs can also utilise the support offered through Access to Work.

The scheme, now available to those who work from home, includes grants worth up to £62,900 and can cover the cost of the workplace adjustments that disabled people need to do their jobs, including sign language interpreters, as well as services such as mental health support.

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