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Welsh Employers Urged to Become Disability Confident

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Employers are being called on to do more to support and recruit disabled people and those with a health condition by becoming Disability Confident following International Day for Disabled People.

Over 300 employers in Wales are signed up to the government’s Disability Confident scheme, which gives organisations access to a wide-range of recruitment support.

Rhys Jenkins, from Swansea, is employed by Disability Confident employer the Autism Directory in Pontypridd.

Community coordinator Rhys, 26, has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Dyspraxia.

With the support of his employer adviser, Dawn Reed, Rhys created a video, explaining in more detail the obstacles he faces. He felt this would give DWP staff an insight into how people with his conditions can become a valuable and loyal employee.

Following the video and guidance from the Jobcentre, The Autism Directory made Rhys a job offer.

Tailored support was then put in place for Rhys by using the Access to Work scheme.

Access to Work, is a discretionary grant scheme that provides financial assistance to enable businesses to employ people like Rhys.

Law graduate, Rhys said:

“I felt really supported and assisted by the jobcentre staff. They were really understanding of my difficulties and strengths right from the start.

“They understood how my Autism and Dyspraxia made it more difficult to work a 9-to-5 job. They accepted that I relied on my vision because of how my brain was wired. They listened and they understood.

“I’m really enjoying working for the Autism Directory – they truly are a committed and incredibly diverse organisation.”

The Autism Directory’s Chief Operations Manager Gareth Tarrant, said:

“Since August 2017, we have enjoyed a positive working relationship with the Jobcentre.

“As part of this partnership, we are proud to be a Disability Confident employer. Our mission is to help individuals and families living with Autism get the help they need.

“We pride ourselves on making sure we give all recruits a fair opportunity, including those with a disability or a health condition such as Rhys.”

As part of its call to action, last week the government published a voluntary framework, created in partnership with employers and charities, to encourage businesses to report how many of their staff had a disability or health condition.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton, said:

“Employers across the country this month have joined us in celebrating and promoting inclusive workforces as we mark Disability Confident’s anniversary – and embraced the hashtag #IAmConfident to empower people to talk openly about a disability or health condition.

“Our voluntary reporting framework builds on our longstanding commitment to companies to help them in supporting their staff at all levels to create more inclusive workforces as we set out to achieve our ambition of one million more disabled people in work by 2027.”

Top statistic:

  • The top three sectors employing disabled people are human health and social work at 16.4% of all disabled workers; retail and wholesale at 15.1% and education at 10.5%. Together, they employ 42% of all disabled workers – compared with 36% of all non-disabled workers.

The top ten sectors for disability employment are:

  • Human health and social work activities – 16.4%
  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles – 15.1%
  • Education – 10.5%
  • Manufacturing – 7.1%
  • Public administration and defence – 6.8%
  • Accommodation and food service activities – 6.0%
  • Construction – 5.8%
  • Professional, scientific and technical – 5.3%
  • Administrative and support service – 5.0%
  • Transportation and storage – 4.6%