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Economy boost from disabled employment

Date 12 Jun 2007

Improving the skills of disabled people would deliver a significant boost to the UK’s economy, according to a new report. The benefit could be as much as £35 billion over 30 years, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) argues.

The ‘Disability, Skills and Work: Raising our ambitions’ report claims that, as well as the benefits from raising the skills rate of disabled people, improving the employment rate of disabled people to the UK average through skills improvements would give a boost to the economy of a further £13 billion. Proposals outlined in the report are also aimed at helping tackle issues such as child poverty.

Stephen Evans, SMF Chief Economist, said: “The size of the challenge is daunting. But the scale of the prize is huge and the cost of inaction is mounting by the day through wasted talent. The past decade has shown how empowering disabled people and supporting employers can work. The next decade needs to see a step change in this approach and a dramatic boost to the skills of disabled people.”

Agnes Fletcher, Director of Policy and Communications at the Disability Rights Commission, said: “Despite rising levels of employment for disabled people over recent years, too many are still without jobs and living in poverty as a result. “As this report shows, investing in disabled people’s skills is a win/win situation for Government, creating massive dividends for the economy and delivering greater equality at the same time.”

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