Commenting on Government plans to reform incapacity benefit,

David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"Getting many of the 2.7m people currently on incapacity benefit back to work or training, could bring great benefits to our economy.

"Employers are already suffering as a result of skills shortages across many sectors, so providing a larger pool of skilled workers is a positive step.

"We need to be sure that people are properly supported in their return to the workforce. We know employers are keen to help and many are already providing support and flexible working arrangements to ease what can often be a difficult transition. "A major need of many who are returning to the workforce is to improve their skills. We have concerns about the barriers that many face when trying to access training.

"We look forward to working with the Government to ensure those people that can return to work are able to contribute to the economy."