The latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey data indicates that between January and December 2022 the employment rate of disabled people rose to 50.7%.
This achieves the 2023 target set in The Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan (2018), one year early.
This rise in the employment rate was not enough to offset the increase in the employment rate of non-disabled people, which also increased to 82.5% in 2022. Meaning that the Disability Employment Gap has widen slightly by 0.7 percentage point from 2021 to 31.9.
The next interim target in the Employment Action Plan is to increase the employment rate of disabled people to 60% by 2030, which is on track to be achieved. The refreshed Fair Work Action Plan that was published last December sets out the further actions that we will take to meet our aim of halving the disability employment gap by 2038.
It is encouraging to note that the next interim target of increasing the employment rate of disabled people to 60% by 2030 is on track to be achieved. This suggests that progress is being made towards creating more inclusive workplaces and improving employment opportunities for disabled people.
Furthermore, it was encouraging to read that Stephanie Callaghan MSP raised a discussion in Scottish Parliament in May 2023, on the need to support an increase in the number of employers practising inclusive and accessible interview processes, with a view to more local employers recognising and benefiting from the talents that disabled people bring to workplaces.
In response Neil Gray MSP, the new Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy, congratulated one of our Apt Employers, ACS Clothing Ltd, for their achievements and Apt in working to improve recruitment and retention rates for disabled people by developing and testing different types of support for employers.