On Friday 15 July, local MPs, Gary Streeter and Johnny Mercer, attended the Disability Confident networking breakfast at the National Marine Aquarium, organised by Pluss. The event came at the end of Plymouth’s Disability Confident week.
Johnny Mercer MP partnered with Pluss to put on the event. He gave a keynote speech highlighting the importance of halving the disability employment gap, and the excellent work of Pluss and the opportunities for Plymouth businesses to partner with them.
Gary Streeter MP presented the annual Plymouth Employer of the Year Award 2016. This year, there were two winners – Plymouth City Bus and SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd. Both companies were recognised for the outstanding work they have done in the last year to employ more disabled staff.
In 2013, the Government launched Disability Confident to help tackle the underemployment of people with disabilities in the UK. Across the UK, 16% of the workforce either has a disability or a health condition affecting their ability to work. The Government is committed to halving the disability employment gap. This means reducing the current 33% gap between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people.
Pluss are working with employers and prospective employees across Plymouth to help those with physical and learning difficulties get into work. They work with disabled people to enhance their skills and abilities to prospective employers. They work with employers to recruit and retain disabled people onto their teams.
Speaking after the event, Johnny Mercer MP said:
‘I was honoured to have worked alongside Pluss this week, to raise the profile of the Disability Confident campaign.
Too many disabled people in Plymouth struggle to find and retain employment. Often this is because employers are not disability confident.
I’d encourage more Plymouth employers to look at how they can employ disabled people. Plymouth City Bus and SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd, the winners of Employer of the Year 2016, show how achievable and rewarding it is – both for the employer, but most importantly for the disabled person able to gain meaningful employment.’
Gary Streeter MP said:
‘Congratulations to Plymouth City Bus and SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd. I was delighted to award them their Employer of the Year Award today. The work they have done to become Disability Confident provides an excellent example of how possible it is.
Across the City and into the surrounding towns and villages, we need to lay down the challenge to employers to become Disability Confident. We should also be inspiring disabled people of all ages to consider engaging with Pluss to start the journey towards employment.
I am encouraged that Plymouth continues to have so many excellent role models amongst employers, and hope these examples will prompt other organisations to follow their lead.’
To contact Pluss SW call them directly on 01752 306255.