A PLEDGE to continue supporting the national Disability Confident campaign as it celebrates its first anniversary is being made by Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).

Launched by the Prime Minister last year, it is aimed at encouraging more businesses to take a proactive approach to employing disabled people.

In January, the local authority was revealed as the first council in the campaign and it will be aiming to continue the success of a number of schemes which have been helping to break down barriers for disabled people and help them get a job.

As an employer of people with disabilities, the council has been helping develop businesses’ knowledge about disabilities to help them understand the needs of disabled people.

GCC sponsored the Disability Confident Employer of the Year prize at the Apprenticeship Awards 2014 held in June.

The council’s 30/30 Challenge, which asks employers to offer a day’s work experience to a young person with a learning disability, and led to 50 employers signing up in the first two weeks.

Other schemes include Forwards Works Clubs where people with health conditions and disabilities attend to help overcome challenges to finding work.

Futureclean, which is supported by the council is an award-winning car washing social enterprise in Stroud and has provided 12 jobs for disabled people so far with more on the cards as they look to expand.

Cabinet member for long term care, Cllr Kathy Williams said the council was delighted to continue supporting the Disability Confident campaign.

“It was a great honour to be selected as its first local authority partner and we are happy with how successful it has been and the support that people and businesses have shown over the past year.

“It is important we carry on this important work so we can help more and more disabled people find the right job for them, allowing them to add their talent and experience to the workplace.”

Any employers interested in signing-up for the 30/30 Challenge can email vikki.walters@gloucestershire.gov.uk