We were keen to know how DISABILITY CONFIDENT is proving itself with Employers and Employees and asked the Government for an overview as to how the scheme was progressing. This is their answer to us at Disability Talk.

“! want to assure you that the Disability Confident scheme is going from strength to strength. There are now nearly 12,000 employers signed up to the scheme, with that number growing all the time, and these employers are committing to a wide range of jobs, training and other opportunities for disabled people. The Government is putting in significant resources to grow and develop the scheme and to ensure it translates into a growing number of disabled people getting and keeping employment.”

“Ministers are keen to ensure that the scheme continues to meet the needs of employers and the evolving labour market. They have established a Disability Confident Business Leaders Group (DC BLG) of board-level representatives of major companies and a Professional Advisors Group drawn from training and recruitment focused organisations, to advise them how best to promote and develop the scheme. A recent innovation has been the establishment of a series of Specialist Themed events, in which Disability Confident leaders share their knowledge and experience on specific topics with other Disability Confident organisations. Themes so far have been mental health, workplace adjustments, recruitment and retention and terminal illness.”

“Ministers continue to work directly with employers, employer representative groups, and with other stakeholders to promote the benefits to business that comes from an inclusive workforce, and, in particular, the talents and enthusiasm that disabled staff can bring to business. They have promoted the scheme to the Public sector, all main Government departments are now signed up to DC Level 3, our next targets are: Local Authorities, Police, Fire Authorities, and NHS Trusts. 80 percent of local authorities are already Disability Confident.”

“Ministers are turning sign-ups into opportunities for disabled people; when employers sign up to Disability Confident, they undertake to offer employment and other opportunities, such as apprenticeships, internships, work experience etc. The department is currently operating two pilots in South Yorkshire and Cornwall to develop the best ways for Jobcentre Plus Staff to support employers with this. It has also launched a social campaign to encourage voluntary reporting called #IamDisabilityConfident to which a disabled person can sign up.”

“The DC BLG and Department jointly organised several highly successful anniversary and promotional events in the lead up to the scheme’s second anniversary in November 2018 including social campaigns. Several events were promoted over the country which provided an opportunity to listen to powerful stories of disabled people, creating greater awareness and better information and learning about disabled people in the workplace. This led to sign ups and statements of intent to support disabled people in the workplace. Events were held in No 10 Downing Street, Channel 4, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester to name a few. In addition, the Department Communications social campaign reached 16.5million twitter accounts; 6,400 #IamDisabilityConfident; Disability Confident sign-ups went up 39 per cent in November.”

Ms. Amber Rudd – Secretary of State at the Department for Work & Pensions

“The Department is also continuing to add value to the scheme, including strengthening the membership offer, improving membership engagement and driving progression from DC Level 1 to DC Level 2.”