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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14890: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 27 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what target it has set to increase the number of people with learning disabilities in the workplace, and what action it is taking to achieve this.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 13 March 2018

The Scottish Government has committed to seek to reduce by at least half the employment gap between those with disabilities and those without. Helping more people with learning disabilities into work will be key to achieving this ambition.

Since the publication of A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People in December 2016, we have taken action to support more people with learning disabilities into work. This includes:

  • improved MA funding for disabled people;
  • a successful media campaign aimed at SMEs promoting the employment of disabled people, including promoting case studies (including people with learning disabilities), and sign posting information, support and advice for employers, which ran during the summer of 2017;
  • implementing the transitional devolved employment service Work First Scotland and, from April this year, Fair Start Scotland – disabled people are priority group for access to these services, and
  • delivering a disability internship programme together with Inclusion Scotland.

We have also committed to developing a Learning Disability Employment Programme. Skills, training and employability will be key themes in the next phase of The keys to Life strategy.

We recognise that we need to build on this work and since last Autumn we have engaged with key stakeholders, including disabled people to hear their views on further action Government can take. On 30 April, the Scottish Government will hold a major congress on disability, employment and the workplace where we will set out our findings and future plans.

The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability is a key partner in this work. Scottish Government officials are working with them as part of a short life task group on employment and they are supporting the development of the programme for congress.