The Government has made significant progress in tackling the disability employment gap in recent years, with the target of seeing a million more disabled people in employment between 2017 and 2027 exceeded last year – five years ahead of schedule. There is, however, much more to do to, and we are taking action to support more people with learning disabilities and other long-term conditions into work.
One of the most crucial things that a government can do is to listen to disabled people, their representatives, charities as well as healthcare professionals and employers, to understand how best to support those with disabilities on their journey to the workplace. I am pleased that this engagement is taking place regularly, and that my colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions have introduced meaningful reforms.
These include increasing Work Coach support in Jobcentres for people with health conditions; training specialist Disability Employment Advisers to work in Jobcentres; expanding Access to Work grants towards extra costs of working; expanding Disability Confident to encourage employers to take positive action to address issues those with disabilities may face in the workplace; and increasing access to flexible work.