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Mon, 19 October 2020

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Young disabled people deserve to be included in Kickstart

Young disabled people deserve to be included in Kickstart

I wrote to employers who are already leading the way on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace to urge them to offer Kickstart opportunities for disabled young people, writes Justin Tomlinson MP. | PA Images

3 min read

Kickstart has been designed to provide fresh opportunities to a new generation of talent and for it to truly be successful, disabled young people must be able to participate.

As we overcome the challenges Coronavirus has thrown at us all, we must build back better in a way that leaves no-one behind.

That is why this week I wrote to employers who are already leading the way on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, to urge them to offer Kickstart opportunities for disabled young people.

A disability should never be a barrier to employment or dictate the path a person is able to take in their life – and nor should it stop young disabled people from accessing this opportunity.

The six-month Kickstart jobs are paid for by the government and give young people at risk of long-term unemployment experience in the workplace, improving their job prospects for the future.

For all young people, these roles are key to unlocking their potential and giving them the confidence to succeed in their professional lives.

I am determined not to lose sight of the promise this government made to disabled people and their families

The employers I have written to have already stepped forward to meet the challenge of improving employment opportunities for disabled people by becoming Disability Confident employers, helping us in our goal of supporting an additional one million disabled people into employment by 2027.

Now, I’m calling on those employers again to use their expertise and play a vital role in our nation’s economic recovery.

Kickstart has been designed to provide fresh opportunities to a new generation of talent and for it to truly be successful, disabled young people must be able to participate.

Employers with more than 30 Kickstart jobs to offer can apply directly on gov.uk. Those with fewer than 30 Kickstart jobs can apply through one of our Kickstart gateways, organisations who will apply on an employer’s behalf and can also support them and their young recruits through the scheme.

While my eyes are on the big picture of our economic recovery, I am determined not to lose sight of the promise this government made to disabled people and their families.

We will continue to help them access the jobs they want and make the workplace more accessible, with our forthcoming National Strategy and Green Paper setting out the way ahead.

We already extended our ‘Access to Work’ grant to those who are working from home in response to the pandemic, knowing that last year it supported a record 36,000 disabled people to stay in a job.

And now as we launch the Kickstart scheme, I’m urging these experienced employers to participate so that we can make sure disabled young people do too.

As many employers now know, a diverse and inclusive workplace has benefits for business. And as we build back better from this health emergency, building inclusive workplaces is key to making sure everyone benefits.

 

Justin Tomlinson is the Conservative MP for North Swindon and minister for disabled people.

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