Drive to make Worcester Disability Confident hailed as success

Worcester’s MP Robin Walker has expressed his delight at the success of last week’s Disability Confident reverse jobs fair.

The event held in the Guildhall last Wednesday organised by Robin together with local charity Headway Worcestershire and Sanctuary Housing was a networking event that provided information for local employers about hiring disabled people from charities and businesses that already do so.

Disability Confident is a Government initiative launched by the Prime Minister in 2013 and led by Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson MP. It exists to challenge negative attitudes to disability and target employers to make them aware of the business benefits of employing disabled people

Several local businesses and charities pledged their support of the campaign at the event last week and many having agreed to become Disability Confident partners with a view of working with the campaign in the future. The event was also attended by Worcester’s Mayor Roger Knight, Sheena Ramsay the MD of the City Council and Cllr Joy Squires, the chair of the Scrutiny Committee who recently produced a report on disability employment and Cllr Andy Stafford, who contributed to the report.

The event enjoyed cross-party backing and was attended by several local councillors while enjoying the support of both the City and County Councils along with Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Worcestershire’s LEP, the social media phenomenon Worcestershirehour and the Job Centre’s Access to Work scheme.

A number of businesses were recruiting at the event including Malvern Instruments, Witsendwizardry and Waitrose. A number of people with disabilities who had gained valuable work were also on hand to tell their stories and it was these that particularly impressed some of the business who attended.

Speaking after the event, Robin said:

“I am delighted that the event was such a success and was useful to all those that attending. This was the first event of its kind in the city and I have had very positive feedback from all business that were in attendance.”

“74,000 more disabled people found work last year and 293,000 over the last two years but there is still a huge gap between the employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people. I am pleased to be able to do something to help more disabled people get back into work and draw the attention of local employers to some of the real success stories.”

“I am grateful to Headway Worcester, Sanctuary Housing and all the business and charities that attended, along with both the City and County Councils an all the disability campaigners that helped make this event possible. I will be debating disability employment in Westminster today and look forward to the opportunity to say thank you.”

 

Notes to Editors

More information on the Disability Confident Campaign can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/disability-confident-campaign-celebrates-2-years-of-success

Government advice on employing disabled people and people with health conditions can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employing-disabled-people-and-people-with-health-conditions/employing-disabled-people-and-people-with-health-conditions

The Worcester City Council Scrutiny Report on Disability Employment can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

Robin’s press release ahead of the event can be found here:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/worcester-can-lead-the-way-in-tackling-the-disability-employment-gap/

The event, held in Worcester’s Guildhall last Wednesday received support from:

Waitrose

Sanctuary Housing

Wits End Wizardry

ASPIE

Dolphin Computing

The Royal British Legion

Malvern Instruments

Shaw Trust

Sight Concern

Headway Worcestershire

Remploy

Aspire Academy

University of Worcester

Worcestershire County Council

Worcester City Council

Modus Creative

Emily Jordan Foundation

Worcestershire LEP

Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Firmingers Ltd

Speakeasy Now

2 Counties Training

Worcestershire Hour

Maths & Space