Government aims to help disabled people into work
Posted on: Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
A new effort to help disabled people find employment has been expanded by the government.
According to Esther McVey, the minister for disabled people, work is far more than a job.
Indeed, she said it is "one of the best ways to increase independence", feel fulfilled in life and engage with other members of society.
Ms McVey acknowledged that the number of disabled people in work has gone up over the last few years.
However, she said a great deal more still needs to be done if they are to be as widely represented in the workforce as able bodied individuals.
As a result, the government has broadened the scope of the Access to Work programme to help those with disabilities meet added expenses such as the cost of specially adapted equipment and travelling to the workplace.
Small businesses will also benefit from the initiative, so they too find it simple and straightforward to take on a disabled member of staff.
Therefore, disabled access points and special features to help these workers get around a building more easily could be set to become a much more common sight in the next few years.
"Work is central to someone's identity," Ms McVey commented.
"Access to Work [will] widen the scope of those who can benefit from this support, because disabled people aspire to the same jobs as everyone else."
Ms McVey said the initiative will offer an unprecedented amount of choice to disabled people, as they will have the opportunity to secure roles in "every sector from hairdressing to engineering at every level".
A great deal was made of the support towards those with disabilities in the UK throughout the recent Paralympics, with the public eagerly backing the British team during the summer sport.
Many will argue this latest government programme represents a further step towards achieving a more equal society, with prejudice against disabled people consigned to the past.
Employers may therefore find it a good idea to steal a march on their rivals and ensure they have the facilities in place to accommodate disabled workers.