Signature welcomes Minister’s recognition of government role in development of communication and language market

Signature has welcomed the Minister for Disabled People’s recognition the government has a major role in developing the communication and language market.

Speaking to the Work and Pensions Committee about its inquiry into Access to Work, the Minister, Mark Harper MP, said the Department for Work and Pensions needs to know if there is enough support available to meet its policy aims.

The Minister was responding to Mike Thornton MP, who said there aren’t enough sign language interpreters to meet demand. Mr Harper agreed it wouldn’t make sense to try and get more deaf people into work without knowing  there were enough people to provide the appropriate communication support.

Mr Thornton suggested the government could increase the number of communication and language professionals by providing support for training. Whilst the Minister didn’t respond to that point, he recognised the government has an important role as a major funder.

Jim Edwards, chief executive of Signature, said: “We’re glad to know the Minister is aware of his role as a major funder of communication and language support. This is something we talk to the government about on a regular basis.

“He also recognised there are opportunities here for organisations such as Signature. If the government is to meet its aim of a greater number of disabled people in work, lots more training will be needed in the future.

“That’s why we agree with Mr Thornton’s suggestion that the government should consider investing in training for communication and language professionals. I’ll be writing to the Minister to explore that further and discuss the work we are doing to encourage more people to pursue a career in communication and language support.”

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