Strengthening Abilities Programme:

Seeing the Potential of those with Disabilities

Following the success of the Health Equalities Programme in 2022, we are delighted to be working in partnership with the Public Health, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea | Westminster City Council on a new health programme again for 2023/24.

Why is PBC supporting this initiative?

There are 19,700 people who have a current disability or work limiting conditions; 9,600 are male and 10,100 female

13,700 people are inactive or not seeking work, in comparison to 6,000 people who are economically active and in work

Comparative data for Kensington & Chelsea – derived from ONS 8/2023 to March 2023

We have devised our “Strengthening Abilities Programme: Seeing the Potential of those with Disabilities” to support people with learning and physical disabilities and provide them with access to work. We are partnering with local councils, mental health charities and organisations to engage with local businesses to give people with a disability a fair and equal employment opportunity.

Across the UK, there are 9.58 million disabled people between the ages of 16 and 64, equating to 23% of the working population
5.15 million are in employment (male 2.17M & female 2.98M)
Of the above, 4.09M are economically inactive, not in work or looking for work
342,000 are unemployed (unemployment rate 6.2%)

House of Commons Library – Research Briefing 19/6/23 (data as of 3/23)

Evidence shows that people with a disability often have poor mental health, as many who want to work are overlooked or the employment period is too short. In short, people with talent, drive and ambition aren’t being considered for roles they can excel in, sometimes through things as simple as a misunderstanding or not having the correct facilities.

How can you participate in our Strengthening Abilities Programme and transform someone’s life and well-being?

Initially, we are contacting local businesses to complete a survey to fully understand the challenges and reservations businesses can face when considering someone with a disability for employment.
A follow-up seminar will bring together local employers, mental health charities, recruitment specialists, employment law firms, local government teams and businesses that have successfully embodied people with a disability within their workforce. The seminar will educate and provide practical advice to business owners on working with someone with a disability and create an environment where the relationship between employer and employee has positive outcomes for all parties.
Following the seminar, we would fully support any local business that wishes to provide a one-month work trial to a person with either a mental health, learning or physical disability.
Furthermore, PBC and RBKC will fully fund the salary for four weeks based on London minimum wage, and we will guide you through the steps required before and during the entire process.
Things such as the interview process, making resources/provisions available, what a work trial will involve and, depending on the applicant’s needs, what reasonable adjustments may have to be made, if necessary. We understand that you may have questions during this time and will be on hand to listen, assist and work with you at every point.
If the work trial is successful, we hope that the employee can be hired on the basis that works for the employer and employee. If not, participating businesses will have supported that person to have a step on the ladder and experience to add to their CV.

Why you should consider this opportunity

  • You can break down stereotypical societal barriers and educate your team on the importance of inclusion
  •  In general, those with a disability have lower sickness levels than other employees
  •  People with a disability tend to save employers recruitment costs as they are happy to stay in entry-level jobs and are loyal to their employer
  •  It’s often seen that the morale of staff, in general, improves as a result of businesses hiring employees with a disability
  • Your company is likely to be automatically compliant with the Equality Act 2010
  • You’ll likely be eligible for the Government’s Disability Confident Scheme
  •  You automatically widen your search criteria by including people with a disability when looking for candidates and will therefore recruit the ideal person based on their skills, dedication and work ethic
  •  It’s often been said by employers who have hired people with disabilities that roles that are difficult to recruit for, or involve monotonous tasks, those with learning difficulties often out-perform other staff members and perform these tasks to a meticulous standard
  •  By promoting a diverse workforce, 77% of the public regard employers higher than those who do not
  •  Being an equal opportunities employer, your organisation will represent the local community, and your reputation is likely to improve due to this
    – Data from

Provided that the necessary steps are taken correctly, and the employee’s needs are fully understood, we are confident that a person with a disability can be just as dedicated, productive and hardworking as an able-bodied employee.

We’re here to start a change for good, and we would love you to be a part of our programme, whether by getting involved or simply by completing our survey so we can further understand the employment and disability landscape.

If you have any queries or concerns, want to find out more or talk about how you can get involved in supporting our campaign without signing up, do not hesitate to get in touch with our lead on this project, Keith Nicholson;