Lesmahagow’s MP Dr Lisa Cameron has forced the UK Government to make what she sees an embarrasing admission about one of its ‘flagship’ schemes to help the disabled.
The SNP member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Disability and said this week that this body had now harried the Conservative government into admitting that it hasn’t yet found out how its Disability Confident scheme to encourage employers to take on handicapped workers is performing.
She told the Gazette: “I have learned that the Department of Work and Pensions itself has been keeping no record of how many disabled people have been recruited or retained through the scheme.”
The government has now told her that it has “commissioned external research” into the scheme but the results won’t be available until later this year.
The MP added: “Our parliamentary group has long argued that the Disability Confident scheme is a good start but does not go nearly far enough in what it asks of employers. Tackling the disability employment gap is a monumental task and the upcoming research results will shed some light on just how much more needs to be done to gived disabled people the opportunities they deserve to contribute to our economy.”
Her group has produced a report on how the government scheme can be bolstered.
Research has shown that disabled people are more than twice as likely than able-bodied people to be out of work.