The new Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced the launch of the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, which will provide highly personalised packages of employment support for people who are at least a year away from moving into work.
Coaching will be provided to help build their independence, confidence and motivation, as well as work experience to help boost their career prospects.
Rudd said: “Everyone, no matter what their background is, should have the opportunity to thrive in the workplace, and having the right support in place for disabled people is one of my greatest priorities. To truly help people transform their lives, there can be no one-size-fits-all approach.
That’s why this new programme is designed to offer people, who may think they will never move into work, tailored support to help them overcome any personal barriers they may have in the first instance, and then to focus on boosting their skills.”
“There are also huge economic benefits to improving disability employment rates. More than half of disabled people are in work, but in order to realise the full potential of disabled people in Britain we want to go further and see one million more disabled people in work by 2027.”
“People on the scheme will get a dedicated key worker who will work with them to overcome complex barriers which may be preventing them from entering work, ensuring they have a personal support network in place.”
The voluntary scheme will be rolled out across England and Wales in 2019, and applicants will receive support for up to 21 months, including 6 months of in-work support for those who get a job.
Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire, said:
“Many disabled people with complex needs face significant barriers in accessing the workplace. It’s crucial that specialised employment support is available and the government responds to the challenges people often encounter.”
“A more tailored approach can help reach those who are not currently receiving any employment support or skills development. The experiences of disabled people must be central for this support to meaningfully build confidence in an ongoing way, reflecting their individual circumstances and aspirations.”
The Secretary of State also announced measures to reduce the most severely disabled benefit claimants having their awards unnecessarily reviewed. This is to ensure that for disabled people who need extra support, the system is designed to be as seamless as possible while minimising any unnecessary stress or bureaucracy.