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Photo – Emily with Rachel Reeves, David Blunket and Kate Green at the National Grid 

Photo – Emily with Rachel Reeves, David Blunket and Kate Green at the National Grid

Launching Labour’s Disability Manifesto today, Emily Brothers who is one of the few disabled people to contest the current election, in her seat of Sutton and Cheam, joined Rachel Reeves, Kate Green and David Blunket at the National Grid.
Today’s visit to the National Grid’s EmployAbility programme was organised by the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE). It is the national trade association representing hundreds of agencies involved in securing employment for disabled people. The association aims to raise awareness of supported employment, represent the sector on a collective basis, inform members, and encourage best practice. BASE facilitates regional member networks and supports providers and employers by being a hub of information and good practice.
In a sea of statistics on employment, two in particular stand out. One is the Department of Education’s finding that students with learning disabilities have only a 7% likelihood of finding paid employment. The second is the cost to the community of supporting someone who does not get into employment through their life. The figure quoted by the government is £1 million per person.
EmployAbility gives students with learning disabilities exposure to a business environment. At the moment, National Grid is one of a very small number of private companies with an initiative like this.
The programme is about giving a chance to people who do not always get one. Through EmployAbility, internships give disabled students an opportunity to develop skills and confidence in a business environment, as a first step into paid employment. It is a simple model. National Grid identifies roles that an intern can fill. The intern then spends about three months in the role, supported by a job coach. Over their final academic year, students do three internships. Partner schools – in this case Round Oak

Photo – Emily with Rachel Reeves at National Grid Offices
Photo – Emily with Rachel Reeves at National Grid Offices

Emily Brothers has written for LabourList today about the Disability Manifesto:


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