MP organises jobs fair for the disabled

MP Amber Rudd with forum member Lynda Harvey
MP Amber Rudd with forum member Lynda Harvey

THE town’s MP organised and hosted a jobs fair for disabled residents.

Amber Rudd, together with Hastings and Rother Disability Forum, staged the event at the town hall.

The idea for the event came from a meeting the MP had attended with the forum, where she found out there was a lot of fear and uncertainty from locals about the jobs market for those with a disability.

The jobs fair featured speakers from East Sussex County Council, Hastings Trust, 1066 Enterprise and one of the local Work Programme providers, Avanta, which answered questions from forum members.

Ms Rudd said, “The principal point that came out of the meeting is that the Government is not forcing everyone with a disability into work.

“It is enabling and helping those who have a disability, and who are able, to find work, and encouraging employers to work with these disabled residents to better understand their needs as employees.

“This is about removing barriers to work, not imposing draconian measures.

“There are always a certain number of myths about what people can and can’t do in terms of work and benefits, I think people can be fearful of part-time work because of worries about their benefits.

“But there was a lot of expertise in the room and I think forum members were pleased to hear there was more flexibility in the system than they thought.”

Rosemary Iddenden, chairman of Hastings and Rother Disability Forum, said, “The event cleared up some of the anomalies that disabled people encounter when they are trying to access services.

“Members of the forum now feel better able to answer some of the queries they have extended to them. When they cannot answer the query they will be better placed to contact the correct department or person.

“Our grateful thanks to all the hard work Amber undertook to make the event so successful.”