EXACTLY one year since it was launched the county council has pledged to continue supporting a national campaign aimed at encouraging the employment of disabled people.

Launched by the Prime Minister a year ago today, Friday, the national Disability Confident campaign is aimed at encouraging more businesses to take a proactive approach to employing those with disabilities.

In January Gloucestershire County Council was revealed as the first local authority partner in the campaign and it will be aiming to continue the success of a number of schemes which have been helping to break down barriers for disabled people and help them get a job.

Through offering information, support and sharing good practice, the council – which is an employer of people with disabilities – has been helping to develop businesses’ knowledge about disabilities to help them understand the needs of disabled people.

The council’s 30/30 Challenge, which asks employers to offer a day’s work experience to a young person with a learning disability, was massively popular and led to 50 employers signing up in the first two weeks.

Numbers are still growing and now 70 businesses are part of the scheme

Similar programmes include Forwards Works Clubs which were introduced in April last year and every week over 60 people with health conditions and disabilities attend to help them overcome challenges to finding work.

Futureclean, which is supported by the council is an award-winning car washing social enterprise in Stroud and has provided 12 jobs for disabled people so far with more on the cards as they look to expand.

Gloucestershire County Council contractors Amey runs another scheme which sees service veterans and disabled people manufacturing road traffic signs used on the county’s roads.

Cabinet member for long term care, Kathy Williams, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of the Disability Confident campaign.

“It was a great honour to be selected as its first local authority partner and we are happy with how successful it has been and the support that people and businesses have shown over the past year.

“It is important we carry on this important work so we can help more and more disabled people find the right job for them, allowing them to add their talent and experience to the workplace.

“We look forward to supporting the Disability Confident campaign for many years to come and watching it grow further to help even more people.”

Any employers interested in signing-up for the 30/30 Challenge can email vikki.walters@gloucestershire.gov.uk