The UK government will boost the number of specialist advisers dedicated to helping disabled jobseekers to secure and stay in work, with an additional 315 Disability Employment Advisor (DEA) roles to be in job centres across the UK by May 2021.

This comes as the number of Disability Confident employers in the UK – a government scheme set up in 2016 to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people – reaches a record breaking 20,000 this week, as more businesses joined the likes of Microsoft, Sainsbury’s and Network Rail, who already lead the way as inclusive employers.

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, said: “We are committed to seeing one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and as we recover from the pandemic we are redoubling our efforts to boost the support for disabled jobseekers.

“I know this is a challenging time, but we will be building on the record disability employment we have seen by protecting, supporting and creating jobs for disabled people.

“I know personally how valuable a diverse and inclusive workforce can be, so it is fantastic to see employers across Britain signed up to government programmes like Disability Confident.

“I would encourage other organisations, big or small, to follow their example and support disabled people to unlock their full potential.”

The additional Disability Employment Advisers roles will start to be filled internally from this month, bringing total numbers to 1,115 once the process is complete.

DEAs cover every job centre in the country, specialising in finding the right support to help clients who have a disability or health condition into work.

With the UK government’s Plan for Jobs underpinned by the recently extended Access to Work scheme, people with disabilities are already benefitting.

The scheme, now available to those who work from home, includes grants worth up to £62,900 and can cover the cost of the workplace adjustments that disabled people need to do their jobs, including sign language interpreters, as well as services such as mental health support.

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