On Wednesday 8th May, Trailblazers held a Reception at the House of Commons hosted by Heidi Allen MP to launch the new ‘Ready and Able’ report. The report highlights the barriers faced by young disabled people when securing and staying in employment and provides recommendations for Government and employers. The event was attended by young disabled people, employers and several MPs.
Ms Allen spoke at the event about her work with the Young Disabled Person’s All Party Parliamentary Group and her commitment to getting more disabled people into work. Emma Vogelmann, Trailblazers Employability Officer, raised some of the report’s key findings with the attendees such as the need for disability awareness training.
Two key Trailblazers also addressed the attendees, Intern Conrad Tokarczyk who spoke about his involvement with the Employability project, and Vicki Dennis who gave a moving account of her struggle to get into work as an Employment and Support Allowance recipient. A member of the Employer Working Group Susie Worster from Wall to Wall, spoke about how easy they found making a workplace more inclusive and encouraged other employers to do the same. Rob Burley, MDUK’s Director of Campaigns, Care and Support concluded the speeches by reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to narrowing the disability employment gap and working with other disability organisations.
Michele Phillips from SMA UK who attended said:
Everyone from SMA UK really appreciated being able to be with you in parliament for the launch of “Ready and Able”. Thank you to the young people who share their experiences, and to you for your hard work and commitment, setting out your recommendations for change to policy and practice in relation to improving the employment opportunities for young disabled people. It was a really inspiring event and certainly generated much discussion and debate within our group.
Lauren West, Trailblazers manager said:
The Employability Event was a fantastic way to end the 18-month project. Everyone in the room was clearly truly committed to removing the barriers young disabled people face when entering and staying in employment. The speakers really helped bring the report to life sharing real life stories about the challenges they’ve faced.
What the event showed is that there’s so much more to do and stakeholders and decision-makers need to come together to find concrete solutions to close the disability employment gap.
You can read the ‘Ready and Able’ report here.