Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, has taken on the Government’s 100 Day Community Challenge, to see how many local businesses can sign up to the Disability Confident scheme.
With the Minister for Disabled People, Huw this week helped launch the Disability Confident Challenge in Parliament. The MP now has 100 days in which to recruit more local employers to become accredited as Disability Confident organisations. To launch the scheme, the MP is inviting local employers to his constituency office in Bexhill on 26 July for breakfast, a chance to find out more from those involved and sign up. If the MP recruits 25 employers to the scheme, he will become a Disability Community Champion. With 50 employers signing up, he will become a Disability Community Leader.
Launching his challenge, Mr Merriman said “I have been a Disability Confident employer since 2016. In seeking to encourage local employers to give working opportunities to those who have disability challenges, I hope that we can increase the work experience and hiring rates for those who may need additional support to access the jobs market. There are many people in the constituency who, with support for reasonable adjustments, will become highly productive members of the workforce. I hope every employer will recognise that the commitment to signing up is equivalent to complying with the latest in employment law. I am now seeking at least 50 local organisations to join with me on this challenge and demonstrate what a progressive and inclusive local economy we have in East Sussex. I hope that employers will join me for breakfast to find out more and celebrate those who sign up to the scheme.”
Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said “The disability employment gap is still far too high, and I’m determined to ensure that those disabled people who want to work have the opportunity to do so. It’s great that Huw is already a Disability Confident employer and has committed further by signing up to the 100 Day Community Challenge, sending a powerful message to disabled people across the Bexhill and Battle constituency that they can get the support they need to thrive in the workplace.”
Through the Disability Confident scheme, the government is working with 6,500 employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Over 600,000 disabled people have entered the workforce over the last four years. With unemployment at a near record-low, and job vacancies of over 800,000, the scheme aims to assist with a target which would see a further one million disabled people enter the workforce within the next ten years.