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Govts disability plan will create opportunities for occupational therapists

Wednesday 6th December 2017
Getting an extra million disabled people into work over the next ten years will create new opportunities for occupational therapists along the way. Image: Wavebreakmedia via iStock
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Last week, the UK government announced plans to bring an extra one million people with disabilities into the country's workforce over the next decade.

This will be a huge undertaking, which is likely to create a marked increase in job opportunities for the nation's occupational therapists.

Making workplaces more inclusive will require them to be adapted to suit the needs of people with various disabilities to make them as accessible as possible. This will require the support of occupational therapists who have experience in helping with such decisions.

Their expertise is also likely to be needed to help workers with disabilities navigate through the return-to-work process, which may be a challenge if they have been out of the world of work for several years.

Prime minister Theresa May stated last week: "The path a person takes in life and in work should not be dictated by their disability or health condition. Everyone deserves the chance to find a job that's right for them.

"I am committed to tackling the injustices facing disabled people who want to work, so that everyone can go as far as their talents will take them."

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has welcomed the goverment's plans to bridge the disability employment gap over the next ten years.

The college referenced statistics that show disabled people have a less than five in ten chance of having a job, despite the UK's overall employment rate coming in at 75 per cent. Among individuals with learning disabilities, the chance of being employed is just two in ten.

Genevieve Smith, a professional adviser at the RCOT, explained that the college's members were "committed and passionate about supporting everyone to achieve their full potential", adding that the government's green paper "marks a vital next step in making this aspiration a reality".

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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