Lloyd’s CEO, Inga Beale has called for the further inclusion of disabled people within the working world.
Speaking at an event hosted at the House of Commons, Beale also called on recruiters to help to include people with disabilities and issued them with a challenge to increase disability confidence.
Speaking at the conference, Beale said, “We cannot afford to ignore the untapped potential talent that exists within the disabled community – and we need help from the recruitment industry to do it.”
“We will know we have achieved our objectives when recruiters come to us to demand that we do better when it comes to recruiting people with disabilities.”
“Until that time, I issue a challenge to recruiters: Come and work with us and, together in partnership, let us sort out disability confidence once and for all.”
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there is currently a 30 per cent employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people. By allowing disabled people an easier route into employment, there would be a boost of 1.2 million more disabled people in work.
The event, sponsored by Eversheds and hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), was attended by senior figures from within UK businesses and the recruitment industry.
Guest speakers included Melanie Forbes, CEO of Guidant Group and Tom Hadley, Director of Policy at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. Representatives from organisations present included the Co-Op Group, Fujitsu, EON and the Government Department for Work and Pensions. The conclusion of the debate saw 75 per cent of attendees pledging to hire at least one disabled candidate within the next year.
Hadley said, “Lasting, genuine and fundamental change will only come if we achieve a genuine step-change in the way employers – our clients – approach the hiring of people with disabilities. Recruitment that is fully inclusive, fully objective and provides opportunities for all is just good recruitment.”
However, he went on to say, “Radical change cannot come only from within. We need to reach out to the wider business community and to society as a whole to create this brave new world where the focus is on people’s abilities not disabilities.”