The potential of young disabled people is being wasted

Our Director of Policy Gemma Hope responds to House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee's report ‘Skills for every young person’.

The new report by the House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee, ‘Skills for every young person’, cited Leonard Cheshire’s research into the impact of COVID-19 on young disabled people’s work prospects.

The report recommended guaranteeing jobs or training for young people with special educational needs and highlighted the higher rates of unemployment among young disabled people. 

Responding to the report, Gemma Hope, Director of Policy at Leonard Cheshire, said:

“We welcome the Youth Unemployment Committee’s report, which highlights an issue that was all too apparent in our own research: that young disabled people are far more likely to be out of work. The Committee’s recommendation that the government introduce grant funding to guarantee jobs or training for young people with SEND who are newly unemployed is very welcome, and will do much to ease the clear disadvantages many young disabled people face in finding work. 

“But as the Committee points out, high youth unemployment, especially disproportionately high rates among young disabled people, is both a long-term problem and a large-scale one. The longer we delay, the more the potential of countless young people is wasted and the larger the cohort facing years of reduced earnings and job security due to the ‘scarring effect’ of early unemployment.

"The government should therefore also explore introducing disability-inclusive youth employment programmes to tackle the problem and close the gap between young disabled people and their peers.”