The NAO have rightly held DWP to account for progress on disability employment. In places the analysis is biting. But the report misses a golden opportunity to rebalance the challenge locally. Disability employment pathways work when local businesses, councils, colleges, charities and others collaborate. DWP schemes, incentives and regulation provides the framework, but local leadership is where the solutions are to be found.
We should be ashamed as a society about the disability employment gap. Perhaps even more ashamed that so many people with mild and moderate learning disabilities are excluded from the workplace. But if we think the answer is to be found in Whitehall and Jobcentres, then we are asking the wrong question. A better question is how, in the messiness of local place, we harness the plentiful assets of people, at greater scale than ever before.
The NAO have looked at the top - and found it lacking. But at the bottom, in the world that real people inhabit, is a better place to seek the answers we need.
Supporting disabled people to work Published March 28, 2019 Full report Supporting disabled people to work The Department for Work Pensions (the Department) has limited evidence of what works when it comes to supporting disabled people to work, according to the National Audit Office (NAO) in its report published today. The number of disabled people in work has risen by 930,000 (31%) in the last five years, but this has not been matched by a reduction in the number of disabled people who are out of work.