• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

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Percy Hedley Foundation to host conference aimed at challenging disability employment gap

A Newcastle charity is aiming to change attitudes and behaviours towards disability employment at an upcoming conference.

The Percy Hedley Foundation’s Employability Project has organised the Change Attitudes Now (CAN) Conference, which takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle on December 1.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and MP Penny Mordaunt will be among a host of speakers at the event, which will focus on eradicating the disability employment gap.

The conference is set within the context of the Government’s aim to achieve full employment in this Parliament and a key part of this is to increase employment levels amongst disabled people.

A bold target has been set to halve the disability employment gap between disabled and non-disabled workers by 2020, which currently stands at approximately 33.1 per cent.

Approximately 46.9 per cent of disabled people aged 16-64 were in employment compared to 79.9 per cent of non-disabled people.

Parliamentarian Baroness Grey-Thompson and Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt, will be joined by Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah, former CEO of Disability Rights UK Liz Sayce and Channel 4 News reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan who are among a host of speakers confirmed for the conference.

The event, which is aimed at medical professionals, academics and employers, is CPD accredited and will be recognised by professional bodies as part of appraisal and revalidation.

Christine Shanks-Brownlee, Project Manager at Hedleys Employability said: “Hedleys Employability compliments the Government’s Disability Confident Campaign, which is committed to halving the disability employment gap.

“Employers have a vital role to play in this. The number of disabled people entering the labour market can only be increased if employers are willing to employ them.

“This conference will challenge perceived attitudes and stereotypes and will lead on future change by highlighting good practice and sharing positive steps that can be taken to reduce the disability employment gap.”

Hedleys Employability is part of The Percy Hedley Foundation and works across the region to develop employment opportunities for disabled people.

Tickets for the CAN Conference can be purchased via Eventbrite search ‘Hedleys Employability or visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hedleys-employability-can-conference-tickets-38342769255?aff=es2

By Emily