End The Gap:Tory MSP supports disability alliance call for action
Conservative Miles Briggs MSP is backing Disability Agenda Scotland’s call for action to initially reduce and ultimately end Scotland’s disability employment gap. This week DAS published its End The Gap report which highlights that only 42 per cent of people with a disability are in employment, compared with 73 per cent for Scotland as a whole.
DAS – which comprises of leading charities Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Capability Scotland, ENABLE Scotland, RNIB Scotland, SAMH and Sense Scotland – wants to see realistic but ambitious targets to close the disability employment gap; more personalised employability support; and the public sector to lead by example in recruiting more people who are disabled.
The alliance also wants to see improved careers advice, more disability employment advisers and enhanced funding for young people in Lothian and across Scotland who are disabled to take up college and modern apprenticeship places.
Miles Briggs MSP, who attended DAS’s ‘Fairer Scotland for Disabled People’ event at Holyrood,said: “I am very concerned that there is a gap of 31 per cent between employment for people with a disability and Scotland as a whole. There should be no barriers to people with a disability entering the labour market and the resources needed to support them in their jobs should be available.
“It is apparent that more work needs to be done in terms of societal and cultural change to bridge the employment gap between people with a disability and Scotland as a whole. It is especially concerning that the employment gap has widened for some groups with a disability.
“The UK Government’s welfare reforms have the key aim of supporting everyone, including disabled people, to move from benefits and into work. The Scottish Government has substantial new welfare powers and should use these, as well as training policies, to give tailored support to disabled people wanting to enter the workforce.”
Delia Henry, Chair of DAS, said: “Being in employment has both economic and social benefits for disabled people and, whilst some people are not able to work, others face barriers due to a lack of disability awareness in our society. We’re delighted that Miles Briggs MSP recognises more needs to be done to support disabled people in Lothian and across Scotland to gain jobs and help to eventually end the disability employment gap.”
For further information visit www.disabilityagenda.scot