Posted on 8 February 2017
In October 2016 the Government published a Green Paper Improving Lives that set out its proposals for halving the disability employment gap, a key commitment in its 2015 election manifesto.
At present the employment rate for non-disabled people is 80% in the UK but only 48% for disabled people – an ‘employment gap’ of 32%. The government’s aspiration to halve this means moving around 1 million disabled people into work. On 24 January Roy Sainsbury took part in a panel discussion for the BBC Radio 4’s In Touch, a magazine programme for blind and partially sighted people. Hosted by the BBC journalist Peter White, other contributors were Geoff Fimister from the RNIB and Caroline Stanfield a disability employment advisor (whose guide dog could be heard snoring gently in the background).
Roy’s contribution included the argument that the Green Paper missed an opportunity to discuss ideas for generating jobs for disabled people (rather than just improving their employability through training and work experience). This argument is partly based on recently completed work for the European Commission on Social Protection for Disabled People in Europe: Synthesis report (see http://www.disability-europe.net/theme/social-protection).
If you would like to listen to the progrrame click the BBC iPlayer link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0890kfj