Members Of The Young Adult Network Visit Parliament

On the 8th May 2019, some members of SMA UK's Young Adult Network were pleased to attend a reception at the House of Commons, organised by Trailblazers from MDUK, on the Employability of Disabled People.

The event was hosted by Heidi Allen MP, who is chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Young Disabled People.

At the event, Emma Vogelmann, Trailblazers Employability Officer, launched her report - Ready and Able – about removing barriers that prevent young disabled people from finding employment, which she based on working group discussions with both employers and employees. Emma has made a series of recommendations for Government and for employers to mitigate barriers for young disabled adults finding suitable employment. The reception gave an opportunity to discuss this new report and its findings with MPs and other decision makers.

Jordanne, Josh and Jack from SMA UK’s Young Adult Network, were pleased to go along and be part of the day. Here, they share their thoughts and experiences of the event:
 

Jordanne:

I had such an exciting day visiting the House of Commons for the launch of the MDUK employability report. I really hope that the recommendations put forward by Emma Vogelmann and steering groups will be taken seriously. As someone who doesn’t regularly keep up with politics I was a bit apprehensive, but Heidi Allen (MP) spoke very articulately about how the government must support employers and disabled employees. 

Thank you so much to MDUK and SMA UK for inviting me! “
 

Josh:

“Inspiring event with so many fantastic people within one room and what no better place than discussing disability employment in the heart of the UK government - the house of commons, so empowering! The ready and able report was a stark but extremely important reminder of the major extant barriers preventing disabled people accessing employment. After discussing with various people, it became apparent, only when an organisation has the desire to change its attitude towards inclusivity will these employment barriers start to come down and for the workplace to benefit from a disabled workforce. After all, who wants to work for somebody who has no interest in them - I know I certainly don't!”
 

Jack:

"It was a really interesting experience to be able to visit Parliament for the launch of the “Ready and Able” report, particularly to hear the experiences of different young people with disabilities in the workplace and all that this involves (some extremely positive and some not so), and to compare these with my own. The different speakers at the event definitely demonstrated that there are some great opportunities for people with disabilities in the workplace. Despite these, Emma’s report highlighted how some significant blockers are still out there to prevent full inclusion (limitations in Access to Work funding, lack of disability awareness training), but I see it as a positive step that such findings are being raised for those in Parliament to see. It will be very interesting to follow this report going forward and to see what changes it can bring about – this really follows the key message of the report. A lot has been done in the past few years to make improvements in this area, but there is a lot more to do."
 

If you’d like to find out more about joining our Young Adults Network, please click here.