Deputy Malcolm Ferey speech at Embrace our Difference event.

It gives me great pleasure to be here today for the third Embrace our Difference event. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the many organisations represented here that provide support, deliver services and advocate on behalf of their clients.  

It is important to promote a diverse workforce that ensures every individual, including those with disabilities, has every opportunity to succeed. As we look toward the future of our island, it is crucial that we embrace diversity in all its forms, recognizing that our collective strength lies in our differences.

A diverse workforce is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity for the prosperity and well-being of our island. By welcoming individuals with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives into our workforce, we enrich the tapestry of our society. It is an investment in the talent, creativity, and unique skills that each person brings to the table.

When we talk about diversity, we must explicitly address the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Creating an environment where people with disabilities have equal opportunities is not only a matter of justice but also a path to unlocking untapped potential. We are fortunate to live on an island where talents and abilities vary widely, and it is our duty to ensure that everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive differences, can contribute meaningfully.

In Jersey, we boast a community that values inclusivity and compassion. Yet, we must actively translate these values into actions within our workplaces. Employing individuals with disabilities is not merely a gesture of goodwill; it is a strategic move that enhances our collective capabilities. By tapping into the diverse skill sets of people with disabilities, we can foster innovation, creativity, and resilience, qualities that are indispensable in today’s rapidly evolving world.

Moreover, a diverse workforce that includes individuals with disabilities reflects the true essence of equality. It sends a powerful message about the kind of society we aspire to be—a society where everyone, regardless of their abilities, has the chance to thrive, contribute, and lead fulfilling lives.

As we champion diversity in the workforce, let us remember that it is not just about ticking boxes or meeting quotas. It is about creating a culture of inclusion, where individuals feel valued, respected, and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work. This commitment is not just good for business; it is a testament to our commitment to building a fair and compassionate society.

In conclusion, let us strive for a future where every person in Jersey, regardless of their abilities, can succeed and contribute to the prosperity of our island. By embracing diversity, we pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive future, where everyone’s potential is recognised, celebrated, and utilised for the greater good of our community.

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