Department for Work and Pensions
Disability Confident campaign celebrates 2 years of success
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith hails changing attitudes of UK business towards disabled staff.
The changing attitudes of UK businesses towards disabled people have been hailed, as the Disability Confident campaign celebrates its second anniversary.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has publicly thanked employers for getting behind the government-organised drive, helping to strengthen and diversify the labour market as well as giving hundreds of thousands more disabled people the chance to pursue their career ambitions.
Over the past year the number of disabled people in work has increased by 238,000 – the equivalent of around 650 more every day.
Iain Duncan Smith said:
The Prime Minister launched Disability Confident 2 years ago to highlight the clear, undeniable business benefits of recruiting disabled people. The success of the campaign is clear to see and I want to thank the businesses which have responded so enthusiastically.
I want everyone to have the chance to benefit from the independence and security of a pay packet. By continuing our efforts, we can give more disabled people that opportunity enabling them to lead full and independent lives and fulfil their career ambitions.
In total, 3.2 million disabled people are now in work – but the government is committed to increasing this by around a further one million as part of its ambition to halve the gap between the employment rates of disabled people and the wider population.
The aim of Disability Confident is to work with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential in the workplace.
Marks and Spencer is one of the latest major firms to join. In total, 376 UK employers now support the campaign, including Sainsbury’s, Barclays and BT.
Tanith Dodge, Director of HR at Marks & Spencer, said:
We actively support people with disabilities and health conditions into work and are delighted to have recently joined the Disability Confident campaign, with a commitment to support a further 1,600 in 2015/16. At Marks & Spencer, we look beyond disability and focus on a person’s ability.
The second anniversary coincides with research this week from the Centre for Economic and Business Research and Everline, which found that small employers had 520,000 vacancies that they were unable to fill because of a lack of relevant skills. In total, there are around 700,000 vacancies in the UK economy at any one time.
Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, challenged other businesses to consider the boost that untapped disabled talent could bring to their workforce:
The attitudes of employers are changing as they wake up to the fact that treating disabled people fairly isn’t just the right thing to do – it makes business sense too.
The most successful businesses are those with the most committed and talented workforces – and no business can achieve that without being alive to the skills that the millions of disabled people in the UK have to offer.
This second anniversary of the campaign is our opportunity to push on and do more. I want all businesses to recognise that diverse workplaces are stronger workplaces.
The campaign was launched by the Prime Minister at an event in 2013 attended by employers from every sector, from airlines to supermarkets and banking to construction. Speakers at the conference included Easyjet’s Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and the event was supported by Barclays Retail, GlaxoSmithKline and Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Join the conversation
Join the Disability Confident conversation by reading Justin Tomlinson’s LinkedIn blog
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 0203 267 5124
London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144
Out-of-hours (journalists only) 076 59 108 883
England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099
Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122
Follow DWP on:
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/dwppressoffice
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/dwp
- LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/dwp
- YouTube – www.youtube.com/dwp
Latest News from
Department for Work and Pensions
Over 110 new Youth Hubs offer job help11/06/2021 13:10:00
From Dundee to Swansea and in London boroughs, young people across all corners of Great Britain are now benefitting from new specialist employment support and advice from local Youth Hubs.
UK brings forward world-leading climate change legislation09/06/2021 10:10:10
The UK yesterday became the first major economy to push forward plans to make pension schemes mitigate against the risks of climate change.
Care leavers and homeless people could receive extra housing support03/06/2021 11:20:00
Thousands of vulnerable people, including care leavers, will get more cash to pay their rent, thanks to changes to housing benefits.
DWP and Google join forces to grow jobseekers’ digital skills26/05/2021 14:25:00
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has partnered with Google to provide 9,000 jobseekers across the UK with scholarships to gain a Google Career Certificate.
JETS job scheme relaunching 100,000 careers26/05/2021 10:10:10
Around 100,000 people who lost jobs in the pandemic are on the road back to work thanks to a government programme providing targeted support to relaunch their careers.
Pension fee shake-up25/05/2021 12:10:00
Government plans to protect small pension pots by limiting the level at which fees can be charged on them was yesterday outlined.
Simpler information to transform pension understanding for savers18/05/2021 13:10:00
Savers will have a much clearer picture of their pension pots from next year, thanks to government plans to introduce simpler annual statements.
New rules to help curb online pension scams17/05/2021 14:38:00
The government is helping shut the door on social media scammers trying to plunder people’s pensions under new scam prevention measures due this autumn.
Ministers showcase the UK’s green future ahead of COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow17/05/2021 11:26:00
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma marked less than six months to go until the climate change summit this November, as Government Ministers travelled across the country to see how the UK is greening all parts of society.