Local MP for Basingstoke, Maria Miller, asked the Prime Minister during Question Time
”Despite record numbers of new jobs people with a learning difficulty can find it tough to get into work. Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming the 'Basingstoke Inclusion Zone' which will recognise the commitment of local employers to people with a learning disability-a group whose skills are too often hidden".
The Prime Minister joined Maria in welcoming the Inclusion Zone, which is launching this Friday and will encourage more employers to support people with learning difficulties into employment.
Maria said “It's great to get David Cameron's backing for the Basingstoke Inclusion Zone. There has been tremendous support from Basingstoke Mencap and local business too. The aim of BIZ is to recognise those employers who give practical support to help give more people with a learning disability the opportunity to work. I hope that we can encourage more companies to sign up with the launch on Friday.”
On Friday 13th March Maria Miller MP, The Mayor of Basingstoke and the Trustees of Basingstoke Mencap will launch the Basingstoke Inclusion Zone (BIZ).
The Basingstoke Inclusion Zone is a project looking at employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities. As a former Minister for Disabled People and a volunteer at the Speakeasy Advocacy this is a key area of expertise for Maria.
The Basingstoke Inclusion Zone is working with Basingstoke Mencap, who are running the Aspire Project helping people with learning disabilities get into employment. In Hampshire only 9% of people with learning disabilities are in employment.
The Basingstoke Inclusion Zone is aimed at recognising local employers who are proactive in recruiting people with disabilities and who sign up to a “Local Two Ticks” charter. Companies already signed up include The AA, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Fujitsu, QHotels, The Basingstoke Sport Trust and Great Guns Marketing.
Many employers sign up to national schemes to support disabled people into work but people with learning disabilities are still finding it difficult to find employment. The Basingstoke Inclusion Zone is a way for local employers to show their commitment, to giving people with learning disabilities the right opportunity to reach their potential.