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How would you close the disability employment gap?

Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,030 Scope community team
edited July 2019 in Disabled people

Since October 2017, Scope has been working with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, to find, fund, and support social entrepreneurs with ideas to help disabled people (back) into work.

Today UnLtd are excited to share news of an opportunity which we think could be really attractive and interesting to many members of our community.

The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs awards grants to people with enterprising ideas to make the world a better place. They call these people social entrepreneurs: if you feel compelled to address a social issue, and you want to build a social business – one that has a way of financing its operations, then you might be eligible for UnLtd funding.  

Unemployment has been steadily falling in the UK, yet not everyone who wants to work can gain appropriate, meaningful work. According to Scope, disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people.

UnLtd know that people have enterprising ideas to change this and in the past 12 months, they've already supported over 20 people with ideas to address the disability employment gap.

People like Sue, whose venture Promise In Store stocks products exclusively designed, created, crafted, produced or packaged by (young) people with a learning difficulty or disability. Sue has blended her extensive experience in retail and customer services, plus her lived experience as a parent in the know, to create her social enterprise.

Or Paul, who set up Inyoni Bay, to empower his son and other young adults with Autism, to fulfil their professional and creative potential by becoming highly skilled, self-reliant and independent professionals. It operates as a creative film company making animations and explainer videos.

Sue and Paul are just two examples of UnLtd Award Winners, who have accessed funding and support through UnLtd's partnership with Scope in order to launch their social enterprises.

All the Award Winners receive a combination of cash and support to help you develop resilient, impactful social ventures. Now UnLtd are looking for more applications. If you have an idea to help disabled people into work, e.g. through paid employment, quality training & skills, meaningful work experience, vocational education & apprenticeships, recruitment services, or influencing more inclusive workplace practices, then UnLtd would love to hear from you!

The first stage of the three-stage application process is an Expression of Interest, which you can complete UnLtd's website. The second stage involves completing a few further questions online, and the final stage will involve you speaking with UnLtd, discussing your idea and answering some questions.

You can find more information on how to apply at https://www.unltd.org.uk/our-support/our/closing-the-disability-employment-gap/

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 19th July 2019.

If you have any access requirements call 0800 917 7113 or email [email protected]

Senior Community Partner


  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger

    Hi @Adrian_Scope, I don't know if I have posted this in the correct part of the forum, but the above is from Radio 4's Today programme, John Humphries interviewing Amber Rudd on the disability employment gap.  Quite interesting.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    Where can I tune in? Sounds interesting. 
  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Click on the above link and you should get it ok, @April2018mom .  Otherwise go into the Radio 4 website and click on the Today Programme and it will give you the latest editions of it including this one - it's called "The Disability Employment Gap".  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,270 Disability Gamechanger
    2 minutes 25 seconds out of 6 minutes and 45 seconds, the rest taken up talking about Brexit. 

    Two definite proposals, new housing to be disability friendly, opening up Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to the lowest earners. A vague promise of an 'improved whole life' experience for disabled people. Despite a reassurance a lot of work has gone into the measures and putting disabled people at the heart of what government does, no challenge regarding the recent admission that the government had done no assessment on the impact of disabled people if we leave Europe without a deal.

    Other than the change in SSP should help some disabled people to stay in work longer nothing about how the gap is going to be closed.

    Personally not impressed and very little relevant information.

    Taking this and Amber Rudd's voting patterns I won't hold my breath. Two examples:

    Source: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24795/amber_rudd/hastings_and_rye/votes#welfare

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Hart86Hart86 Member Posts: 394 Pioneering
    Really interesting idea, I wish I could think of something and put it together enough before the deadline. 😟
  • GarzaGarza Member Posts: 68 Courageous
    I have thoughts about potential self employment ideas, what discourages me mostly is the uncertainty of success and how difficult it would be to reclaim the benefits I am now on. 

    I think the "benefit trap" is very real and makes it very hard to get back into the workplace once you are out of it, take myself for example, I may be able to work part time but need a lot of flexibility as my condition fluctuates, not many businesses would employ someone like this and how the benefits seem to be structured doesnt help either
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,090 Scope community team
    Employers not being afraid of "Reasonable Adjustment" and taking a little time to work with an employee to find answers. Not every solution costs the earth.
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy
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