Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP, has called for the recruitment sector to do more to help disabled people into work.

The Minister said the sector has a “critical role in helping the government to achieve its target of getting one million more disabled people in work as soon as possible – but by 2027 at the very latest”.

The announcement was made at a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons in November 2018, which was hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI): a not-for-profit organisation which is working to remove the barriers that disabled people face when job hunting.

According to the latest government statistics, just over 50% of people with disabilities of working age are in employment. Among non-disabled people, this figure stands at 81%.

The oversubscribed event was kindly sponsored by Vercida, Vercida Consulting, Eversheds Sutherland and Lloyd’s and included keynote presentations from influential stakeholders such as: Sir Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Home Office; Morgan Lobb, CEO of Vercida; Karen Wilson, CEO, Hoggett Bowers and Kate Headley, Chair of RIDI and subject matter expert. In attendance on the day were key HR decision makers from organisations including Manpower, Sainsburys, KPMG, Zoopla, ITN and American Express.

Presentations on the evening highlighted the business case for investing in disabled talent, advised attendees on how the Government’ Disability Confident campaign can assist businesses in tapping into this underutilised talent pool and offered tips on how to identify inclusive recruitment partners.

Commenting on the event, Kate Headley, Chair of RIDI and subject matter expert, said:

“To date, RIDI has touched the lives of 500,000 individuals through direct hiring and the recruitment industry. However, there is no doubt that we still have a long way to go to achieve true disability inclusion. Bringing influencers together in this way enables us to share best practice and inspire others. I’d like to thank the Minister for taking the time to attend the event and the RIDI Executive Committee and our partners for tirelessly beating the drum for RIDI. Without them, game-changing events such as this would not be possible. The quality of speakers who gave their time to share their experiences was just incredible, and I’m sure that attendees left feeling empowered to think and do things differently.”