Pevensey Huw Merriman MP has undertaken a challenge to help employers in his constituency, who wish to be more inclusive, to encourage them to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme which helps employers open up their workforce to disabled people.
The challenge, to sign up 30 businesses in April, is part of a national campaign run by the Government’s Disability Confident scheme, which supports employers to increase the diversity of their workforce and offer opportunities to disabled jobseekers, including work experience, apprenticeships, work trials and employment.
During Work and Pensions questions in the House of Commons yesterday, Huw asked Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work if she had a recruitment message for local businesses in Bexhill and Battle. He asked, “Some 17% of the working-age population suffer from a disability. With labour shortage an issue in my constituency, I have committed to signing up 30 employers to be Disability Confident organisations. Given that I am meeting my local Chamber of Commerce this week, does the Minister have a recruitment message for its members?”
In reply, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt applauded Huw for signing up to be a Disability Confident employer himself and for accepting the challenges. She said, “If every Member of this House accepted the challenge, we would sign up enough employers to reach a quarter of the working population of the UK. I thank him for his leadership in that and wish him well on his visit to his Chamber of Commerce.”
The new Disability Confident sign-up scheme was launched at the end of last year and builds on the success of the previous ‘Two Ticks’ scheme. More than 3,800 businesses have signed up to become Disability Confident so far including local employers Hastings Direct, Littlewoods Fencing, Jempsons, Furness Controls and Glyne Gap School to name but a few.
Speaking after DWP questions Huw said, “I hope this will be the start of lots more Bexhill and Battle employers becoming Disability Confident and improved opportunities for local disabled people to realise their potential in the workplace.”