Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP, launched Essex’s Be Disability Confident employer roadshow today.
The roadshow, which will visit every district in the county over the next year, aims to engage and encourage employers across Essex to help increase the number of working age adults with disabilities in employment.
Essex County Council, in partnership with Realise Futures, North Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (NEP), JobcentrePlus and Ixion, is running the roadshow in support of the Department for Work and Pensions’ national Disability Confident campaign.
A roadshow bus will travel around Essex visiting a variety of locations, including industrial estates, shopping centres, retail parks, and the head offices of firms.
It will raise awareness of the benefits of employing a disabled adult, highlight the support available to small and medium size enterprises, and encourage employers to sign up to be disability confident.
Employment opportunities, apprenticeship, traineeships, work trials and work placement opportunities for people are just some of the options available and the partners will be on the bus to talk to businesses throughout the year.
A short video has also been produced to illustrate the benefits of employing people with a disability and can be viewed here
The roadshow was launched at Chelmsford Library today.
Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, said: “Halving the disability employment gap is huge priority and we can only do this by working with employers.
“Essex County Council is leading the way by talking to local businesses about the benefits of hiring disabled people. This is at the core of our Disability Confident campaign.
“We want more people to get involved so that disabled people fulfil their potential in the workplace, boosting our growing local businesses.”
Cllr Malcolm Maddocks, Essex County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, said: “Disabled people have a lot to offer employers and can play an important part in the continued economic growth of our county.
“I would encourage all 63,000 businesses across Essex to look out for the bus in their areas, watch the Be Disability Confident video and come and talk to our partners on board to find out more about the support available to help them become Disability Confident.”
Employment Minister and MP for Witham, Priti Patel added: “We’re driving change through our Disability Confident campaign, and it makes me proud that Essex is the first county to host this tour bus – which is visiting my constituency of Witham this year.
“The east of England has the highest employment rate of any UK region, and we are ensuring that the opportunities created in our growing economy are accessible to all.
“By highlighting the jobs, apprenticeships, traineeships and work placements on offer from Essex businesses, we will help more disabled people find the jobs they want and boost skills across the county.”
For more information about the Be Disability Confident roadshow in Essex, please visit: www.essex.gov.uk/bedisabilityconfident