Recruiters and employers must work in synergy to increase the inclusion of disabled talent. That was the conclusion of a debate hosted at the House of Commons, which was attended by senior figures from the staffing sector and UK businesses.
According to official figures, there is currently a 30 per cent employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people. Attendees discussed the motion that if we are to halve the disability employment gap – by assisting 1.2 million more disabled people into work – the recruitment industry needs to drive radical change from within.
The event, which was sponsored by Eversheds and hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RDI, with the support of Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, closed with 75 per cent of attendees pledging to hire at least one disabled candidate in the next 12 months – positioning them as ‘One in a Million’.
Guest speakers on the day included Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s and Naeema Choudry, Partner at Eversheds, who proposed the motion. Tom Hadley, Director of Policy at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and Melanie Forbes, CEO of Guidant Group, opposed it – stating that lasting change would only be possible through collaboration.
Representatives from organisations including the Co-op Group, Novartis, Fujitsu, EON and the Government Department for Work and Pensions were in attendance as well as delegates from recruitment firms.
Speaking of the event’s outcome, Kate Headley, Director of Consulting at the Clear Company and debate moderator, commented: “While it may seem like a daunting task to help over a million disabled people into work – it is achievable if we work together.”