‘We have a goldmine of talented people that can be tapped into’
THE 2011 Census provides a fascinating read for many reasons, one of which I would like to focus on this month.
Those with protracted health problems or disabilities have long fought for fair treatment and representation in the workplace.
Therefore, when people were asked for the 2011 Census to say whether their day-to-day activities are limited a little or a lot because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, more than 12 months, some interesting talking points were raised.
Even though Buckinghamshire ranks third for residents with disabilities or long-term health problems who are degree level educated or higher and has one of the lowest rates for those with no qualifications, we also have one of the highest number of those residents who have never worked or who are classified as long-term unemployed.
Out of all employment seekers with a disability, it is those with difficulty seeing or hearing who have the most trouble finding work, with only 40 percent of them in employment.
With the employment rate for those with health problems or disabilities at just under 70 per cent and with many people with limiting problems being of working age, this suggests our businesses are not tapping into this goldmine of well-educated, talented people.
Interestingly, people with a long-term health problem or disability make up almost 20 percent of Buckinghamshire residents whose highest level of qualification is an apprenticeship.
This suggests a trend of entering into apprenticeships but perhaps not carrying on into full-time employment.
Apprenticeships are a wonderful avenue for any person wishing to work, however no one should be confined to one particular career path and everyone should be encouraged to explore all available options.
These issues were discussed on September 4 when the newly-appointed Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper MP, visited Buckinghamshire.
Mr Harper also launched two new schemes; the Government’s Accessible Britain Challenge and Fair4All, which both aim to ensure that disabled people are active participants in the community and receive fair treatment.
If you would like more information about the data in this article, please contact Buckinghamshire Business First’s research team on 01494 568 935.