It was recently announced that long-term unemployed disabled people will have access to a dedicated key worker to help them find sustainable employment. Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, said that the new £40 million funding is expected to help 10,000 people nationwide.
Participants of the voluntary scheme will receive support for up to 21 months, and those who are successful in getting a job will also benefit from a 6-month in-work support programme. The initiative is designed to break down the complex barriers that disabled people often face when looking for work – including improving their independence, confidence and motivation.
This is something we’ve already been doing for a long time here at the Growth Company. We deliver specialist services in partnership with a range of organisations and agencies for individuals who may face the greatest challenges in entering or returning to work. Through the work of these various contracts, we have helped 2,759 disabled people into work between 2017 and 2018 alone.
One such contract we deliver is Working Well (Work & Health Programme), which supports people with health conditions and disabilities into work. Each participant is assigned a key worker - a dedicated specialist who can help the person to move into work at their own pace. The key worker can also offer support with skills, health, housing and local government services.
Working Well participants have access to vacancies with local and national employers, who we work with to explain their individual situation and help the employer make the right adjustments to job opportunities to support their circumstances.
We also offer a range of additional help, including one-to-one sessions, assistance with journey planning and support with travel costs. We understand that many of the people we work with struggle with wellbeing; so we offer our participants physical and mental health support, smoking cessation and weight management help.
Once our participants achieve employment, we offer an option for them to still receive support as we understand that their problems don’t disappear because they have a job. They can benefit from a dedicated in-work advisor that helps them to create a tailored work plan, focusing on wage, work and personal progression.
We’re proud to be making a real difference to the lives of disabled people across Greater Manchester every day, and it’s great to see that funding for similar support is going to be made available nationwide.