Peabody index 2019 (2)
MQT on 2020-01-16
January 16, 2020
Jennette Arnold OBE
Asked Of: The Mayor
According to Peabody’s latest report, 9.3% of disabled Londoners are unemployed, compared to 7.6% on average. What are you doing to address this?
Peabody index 2019 (2)
Answered By: The Mayor
Date: Wednesday, 15th January 2020.
I am committed to doing what I can to help tackle London’s disability employment gap and am implementing various initiatives to achieve this. To improve employment outcomes for disabled people I have match funded the devolved DWP London Work & Health Programme taking this £70 million government programme to £135 million.
Through the devolved Adult Education Budget, I have introduced full funding for first qualifications in British Sign Language for Deaf Londoners up to and including Level 2. My £71 million ESF 2019-23 Programme aims to support more than 5,000 disabled people into training and employment. The next round due in the Spring will include £6.5 million of support for 16-24 years olds who are either NEET or have SEND.
The Start Up, Step Up programme, part-funded by ESF, will support 138 budding entrepreneurs who have disabilities. My Good Work Standard will also support disabled people to access and progress into better quality jobs and aligns with DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.
We are also looking at how to offer more work placements across the GLA Family for Londoners with learning disabilities through TfL’s Steps into Work programme.
ATR contacted the labour representative Ms Arnold and the Lord Mayor, and asked the question, but (A) Both failed to respond and (B) ATR was unable to identify the deaf sign illiterates this money is aimed at. Why would other disabled need to attain BSL qualifications? Social media posted the same questions:-
"Why is the Greater London Health authority and Lord Mayor having to fund sign language lessons for deaf ADULTS and other disabled (?), who haven't attained level 2 BSL? What on earth were these deaf being taught in a deaf school?"
"Do deaf actually KNOW what level their own signing is? It is stated 69% are nowhere near level 4, deaf mentors/carers only required to gain level 2, Hearing terps not required to gain any mental health specialisations. The majority of over level 4 BSL signers are hearing not deaf, they outnumber deaf people 2 to 1."
"It seems the idea is to enable a sufficient sign QUALIFICATION attained BY the deaf themselves so that their job prospects improve? but, employers say level 1/2 is basically illiteracy and a level 2 in a system his business did not use was pointless, would they be able to utilise signed support?"
"I attend a deaf club every week and the sign levels with deaf people there seem pretty poor. Social signing is nowhere near the academic requirement or at a level deaf can advance employment options with, and explaining detail is a struggle, but they appear convinced it is the same thing for some reason and 'everyone should sign to them'."
"Are deaf (Children or adults), required to gain any level of sign qualification in education (Formative or Adult)? We know hearing children have numerous exams on academic attainment and marked as regards to their communication effectiveness from day one, but it seems the deaf are not having to prove they have enough sign language skills they need to utilise help. The culture won't cut it with employers."
"London is said to contain near 20% of all UK sign users, where do the numbers exist for a sector of that 20 % unable to attain even level 1 or level 2 BSL? The basic question not asked is how such low levels of sign and English are being identified? Is it job centres?"
"Learning level 2 would not be viable to attain a skill to do anything other than sweep floors in London lets face it!"