Disabled people currently make up 20 per cent of the population, but only 11 per cent of the private sector workforce and 11.7 per cent of the public sector workforce. We’re committed to halving the employment gap between disabled people and the rest of the working age population.
We are using new Holyrood powers to establish the £13.3 million ‘Fair Start Scotland’ employment support service. From April 2018, Fair Start Scotland will provide person-centred support for at least 38,000 people including disabled people and those furthest removed from work. And we have ensured that those participating in devolved employment support services do not face the threat of Tory benefit sanctions.
To tackle barriers to work for young disabled people and help improve their transition into employment, we will also pilot a work experience scheme. Young disabled people are also being provided with the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding until the age of 30.
We will deliver a disability internship programme that provides disabled people with 120 employment opportunities between 2017 and 2021. We are also supporting the NHS Professional Careers Programme, which offers disabled graduates the opportunity of a paid two year work experience placement and help to secure permanent employment at the end of the programme.