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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 11:41 GMT
Jobs campaign for disabled people
Man in wheelchair using an accessible desk
More efforts are being made to help disabled people into work
A new campaign aimed at helping disabled people in Scotland to find jobs has been launched.

Workers' leaders have intensified the pressure on ministers to take action. They claim that only 2% of public posts are held by disabled people.

Officials at the Scottish Trades Union Congress said 20% of the working age population in Scotland is disabled.

But they insist the unemployment rate for disabled people is almost double that of non-disabled people.

Trade unionists argue, also, that one in three working age adults in Glasgow is claiming incapacity benefits.

Communities minister Malcolm Chisholm, who launched the campaign at a conference on Saturday, said: "The Scottish Executive looks forward to working with the STUC and their affiliated trade unions who are uniquely placed to assist their disabled members in the workplace.

Trade unions will demonstrate that unions can work by helping people into work and helping them sustain work
Bill Speirs
STUC General Secretary

"It is crucial that we help more disabled Scots into employment."

STUC General Secretary Bill Speirs added: "The first annual STUC Disabled Workers Conference signals an upping of the ante within the trade union movement in Scotland.

"Trade unions will demonstrate that unions can work by helping people into work and helping them sustain work."

He added: "Government and stakeholders must work together to ensure that Scotland no longer ignores this criminal waste of capable and willing workers."

The RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind) recently said that three-quarters of visually impaired people of working age are not in work.

Charities are aiming to end discrimination in the workplace and encourage employers to look beyond a person's disability.

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) in Scotland said 40% of its workforce is disabled.

The Glasgow Centre for Independent Living, which provides disability equality training to other organisations, has a 70% disabled workforce.


SEE ALSO:
Charities 'fail' disabled workers
16 Jul 04  |  Scotland
Blind people 'face job prejudice'
15 Jun 04  |  Scotland
BlindCraft workers vote to strike
24 Oct 03  |  Scotland


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