Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker took part in a debate on employment for people with disabilities on Tuesday 5th July, it is the sixth time this year that he has spoken on the subject. The debate was moved by Derek Thomas MP (St Ives) who spoke up for employment schemes for those with disabilities and to remove “the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying good access to jobs.” The main theme of the debate was to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as people without disabilities to get jobs and highlight the support available to them. The debate included members from the Conservative, Labour, DUP and SNP Parties all commenting on the importance of the motion and thanking Derek Thomas MP for putting forward the debate.
Robin Walker made an intervention on the Cornish MP, during the debate when he was talking about the importance of businesses and community organisations working together, saying: “One option for community organisations working with employers is to set up their own enterprises. ASPIE in my constituency set up Wits End Wizardry, a web design company that was designed to employ people with autism. Does he agree that when community organisations have expertise in dealing with a particular condition, they can bring real value to designing the workspace and supporting employment for people with conditions such as autism?”
The mover of the debate agreed with this suggestion and gave a number of other examples where community groups could make a difference.
Robin later made a point on the topic of assistive technology in helping people with disabilities find employment in an intervention on a colleague from Northern Ireland, saying: “One thing that has changed and improved in many ways is assistive technology, particularly for people with conditions such as blindness or deafness. Does he agree that disseminating information about the assistive technologies that are available and making sure that businesses are aware of them and how easy they are to use is an important part of this?” Assistive technologies include devices designed specifically for people with disabilities, which are used to aid them in their jobs such as the hardware and software supported by Worcester based Dolphin Computer Access.
Robin made a final intervention during the debate following up on his recent Disability Confident Jobs fair to demonstrate how Worcester’s new Waitrose has already offered employment to people with disabilities, he intervened on the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson when he was speaking about Disability Confident events to say: “The Minister and I have discussed reverse jobs fairs before, and I want to give him some feedback from my reverse jobs fair in Worcester. When I opened the new Waitrose in Worcester the other day, I was introduced to one of its partners, who was completely deaf and who was hired as a result of that Disability Confident initiative.”
The Minister replied:
“I thank my hon. Friend, who is one of the most proactive MPs in supporting our initiatives. He is a real credit to his constituency”
Commenting after the debate, Robin said:
“We have made great strides in recent years in reducing some of the barriers to employment but there is a lot further to go. I am proud that in Worcester we have businesses, community groups and charities all working on this important agenda and I was pleased to be able to contribute to such an important debate. I hope that Worcester can continue to lead the way in this space.”
Notes to editors:
For the full transcript of today’s debate see:
For information on Robin’s Disability Confident jobs fair see:
For the opening of Worcester’s new Waitrose see:
For more information on Aspie see:
For more information on Witsendwizardry see:
For more information on Dolphin Computer Access see:
For details of Robin’s previous debates, speeches and questions on the issue see: