Traditionally employment rates are significantly lower for disabled people than non-disabled people. Figures for the year ending December 2020 show the employment rate for disabled people in Wales was 48%, compared with 73% of non-disabled people.
Yet employing disabled people makes good business sense. A diverse workforce can create better solutions to business challenges, helping you boost productivity. It gives you access to a wide and varied talent pool, a diverse skillset and can lead to increased productivity, creativity and profitability. It will also help you to attract new customers and staff.
Given there were 420,000 disabled people aged between 16 and 64 living in Wales in 2020* there’s a huge amount of untapped talent for business owners with vacancies to fill.
The Welsh Government has employed a network of Disabled People’s Employment Champions who will work with employers across Wales to increase awareness of the talent and skills provided by disabled people. The Champions come from a range of backgrounds but they all have experiences of working as a disabled person and supporting businesses, and it’s often not as expensive or challenging as businesses fear.
Working in partnership with Business Wales specialist advisors, the Champions are there to help employers adapt their recruitment practices for their workforce, and access the support which is available to them and their employees. You will get back just as much as you put in and the benefits to you as an employer are endless.
All of this is free and unique to employers in Wales. Whether an employer is looking to inject new talent into their team, retain or retrain existing staff who have become disabled, or want to ensure their workplace and HR policies are inclusive the Champions can help.
Any business in Wales interested in increasing the diversity of their workforce and finding out more about the many benefits of and support available for employing disabled people can contact the Champions at DPEC@gov.wales.
* Data taken from the Annual Population Survey, which collects data on disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010.
Join Chambers Wales’ Creating a more diverse workforce event on 22nd June to hear more.