Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has undertaken the Disability Confident Summer Challenge to make the employers in her area more inclusive, encouraging them to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme and open up their workforce to disabled people.

In November 2015, Caroline hosted a Disability Confident Event giving local businesses from across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head an understanding of why they should take on disabled jobseekers and the support available to them to do so.

Now, Caroline is encouraging more local businesses to sign up to the scheme to try and become more Disability Confident in Gosport.

The challenge is part of a national campaign run by the Disability Confident scheme, which supports employers to increase the diversity of their workforce and offer opportunities to disabled jobseekers, including work experience, apprenticeships, work trials and employment.

Commenting Caroline said:

“Disabled people make up a fifth of the working age population, and our local employers could be missing out on a large proportion of the talent in our community.

“I hope this will be the start of lots more Gosport employers becoming Disability Confident and improved opportunities for local disabled people to realise their potential in the workplace.”

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt said:

“I want to congratulate Gosport for taking steps to create more Disability Confident employers and helping achieve our aim of getting 1 million more disabled people into work over the next 10 years.

“The scheme supports employers who want know how they can make their organisation more inclusive. The Disability Confident kite mark also sends a powerful signal to disabled candidates that if they apply to that firm they can have confidence their needs and concerns will be understood and supported.”

The new Disability Confident sign-up scheme was launched at the end of last year and builds on the success of the previous ‘Two Ticks’ scheme. More than 4,500 businesses have signed up to become Disability Confident so far.