A message from Alex Chalk MP, Cheltenham's first ever Disability Confident event is coming up in September. As you may know, in 2013 David Cameron launched the Government's Disability Confident campaign, aimed at helping employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Since then the number of disabled people in work nationally has increased by 365,000.
But there is clearly more still be done and to ensure that Cheltenham becomes as welcoming as possible to those people with disabilities. A key part of that is ensuring there are sufficient job opportunities available to allow disabled people to live ordinary and fulfilling lives.
I am therefore delighted to invite you to a Disability Confident jobs fair I am hosting in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions at St Vincents and St Georges Cheltenham on Friday 2 September 2016 between 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
The event is designed to give employers the opportunity to hear from a number of different stakeholders, including the Government's approved Access to Work providers, who provide funding and training to help disabled people re-enter the workplace, local employers who have a track record of employing disabled people and can offer an honest assessment of the benefits and challenges they faced, as well as the DWP themselves, who will be on hand to answer any other questions. The hope is that you will sign a pledge during the afternoon to actively encourage people with disabilities to apply for work at your company.
I would be delighted if you could come along and support this important event.