At the annual conference of the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE), the Minister outlined how Wales is determined to offer support to help disabled workers into jobs.
Addressing the conference today (Thursday 8th September), Jane Hutt said:
"The Welsh Government is committed to creating a successful country, with opportunities for all people in Wales to flourish. To achieve this we need to ensure that people who can work, and want to work, are given the opportunity to do so."
The Minister for Finance and Leader of the House spoke and answered questions at the Millennium Stadium alongside the President of the European Union for Supported Employment, Margaret Haddock and the Head of Resourcing for Royal Mail, Barry Holloway.
Ms Hutt spoke about the help available in Wales to support disabled people into employment.
Although the responsibility for supported employment lies ultimately with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Welsh Government have policies within health and social care, and education and training to help disabled people gain and sustain work in mainstream employment.
The Welsh Government is setting an example with its own placement opportunities for disabled people, as well as its active pursuit of equality and inclusion in the workplace.
The Finance Minister believes working closely with partners is the key to improvements in this area, and the Welsh Government is engaging employers to raise their awareness of the issues related to the employment of disabled people or those with poor health, and to promote the support available from Job Centre Plus via their Access to Work programme. .
The Minister said:
"The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring every citizen of Wales has the opportunity to contribute to the social and economic life of Wales by promoting equality of opportunity for all. We all want a society where people are valued as individuals, where there's diversity and equality and respect for all."