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Government launches campaign to help more disabled people into work

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The Government has launched a campaign to help more disabled people into work and to raise employers' confidence about recruiting disabled people.

The scheme includes plans to offer young disabled people internships and training to help them gain employment.

Government research published this week found more disabled jobseekers cite employers' attitudes as a barrier to work (42%) than transport difficulties (37%).

A two-year advertising campaign for the initiative was unveiled yesterday at a disability employment conference in central London.

Speaking at the event, prime minister David Cameron said employing disabled people makes perfect business sense.

"We need to break the myth about the complexities of employing disabled people, or to put it more simply: to give employers confidence," said Cameron.

Career coaching

As part of the new initiative a Government-funded scheme will be available to 16 to 24-year-olds who have complex learning difficulties and disabilities.

Young people who sign up for an internship, which will be run by further education colleges, will get help from expert career coaches and work for at least six months.

Employers will also be given help from the same coaches and encouraged to take on disabled young people.

Focus on the FTSE 100

Leading disabled charity Leonard Cheshire Disability has today called on UK's top FTSE100 companies to make the most of disabled people's talents.

The charity is asking FTSE100 companies to join its Change100 programme, providing work placements for disabled undergraduates.

"We know that our best companies value talent. We also know there are tremendously talented disabled people searching for work and they could be our country's future leaders or entrepreneurs if they are given the chance," said Clare Pelham, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability.

Research published earlier this month by Leonard Cheshire Disability revealed 77% of disabled people have not received any help finding work. In an experiment using similar CVs of disabled and non-disabled candidates, the charity found that a non-disabled candidate was twice as likely to be invited for interview.