New task force created to help disabled people become apprentices

New initiative will aim to halve the gap in employment between disabled and non-disabled people

Will Martin

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The government has announced the creation of a new task force to help more people with learning disabilities gain access to apprenticeships.

The task force will be led by Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, and will include employers, training providers, charities and educational experts who will explore solutions to try and halve the gap in employment between disabled and non-disabled people. At the end of 2015, the employment rate for people with disabilities stood at 46 per cent, compared with 80 per cent for non-disabled people.

The team has been created as a joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education, as the government looks to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

'Vital skills'

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Our commitment to apprenticeships is giving people everywhere the chance to develop vital skills while working in a real job and being paid. This task force will focus on how apprenticeships can be more accessible to people with learning disabilities so everyone can be part of the apprenticeships success story."

He added: “Only 6 per cent of people with learning difficulties are currently in employment. Making apprenticeships and training opportunities more accessible will support many more people into work."

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Will Martin picture

Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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