Magazine article Public Finance

Plea over Disabled Skills Gap

Magazine article Public Finance

Plea over Disabled Skills Gap

Article excerpt

Investing in the skills of disabled people could net the economy an extra £35bn over the next three decades as well as helping to tackle child poverty, according to research.

Stephen Evans, chief economist at the Social Market Foundation, this week called for a national commitment to reduce the relative skills gap between disabled people and the national average.

His report, published by the SMF in association with the Disability Rights Commission on June 11, also urges employers to take on greater responsibility for the training of disabled people.

Evans said: 'The size of the challenge is daunting. But the scale of the prize is huge and the cost of inaction is mounting by the day through wasted talent. The past decade has shown how empowering disabled people and supporting employers can work The next decade needs to see a step change in this approach and a dramatic boost to the skills of disabled people.'

Ministers echoed the call. Addressing the SMF on June 11, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton launched the Employ Ability initiative aimed at highlighting the benefits of employing disabled people. …

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