This week the Government announced a multi-million pound fund to get more disabled people into work. The £4.2 million fund is the latest measure taken to achieve the aim of see 1 million more disabled people into work by 2017.
The fund was launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price. The aim is to test new approaches to help people experiencing mental ill health or musculoskeletal issues to remain in employment.
The fund is open to new initiatives in these four areas:
- Helping people stay in work by increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions.
- Helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing given their wider needs and circumstances.
- Developing new approaches to help employers and individuals develop workplace solutions, or ways of working that facilitate greater participation of people experiencing these conditions.
- Improving systems by joining up services to strengthen communication, liaison or joint action.
Sarah Newton MP has said
With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to work to stay in or return to employment.
Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities Jackie Doyle-Price, said
This fund will help people overcome the barriers that so many still face when trying to get into and progress in the workplace.
Muscular Dystrophy UK is very pleased at this announcement as our work has shown a need for more collaboration between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health to effectively manage conditions. The young disabled people who have participated in Moving Up and the Young Disabled Person’s Working Group on Employment have often said the ability to manage their conditions and collaborate with employers to find solutions to ‘barriers’ would make it much easier for them to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Our Employability Officer Emma Vogelmann comments on the announcement:
I am very hopeful this new fund will find new ways to support disabled people in the workplace. We need to facilitate disabled people being the decision makers of their care and what support they need to fully be part of the workforce.
Trailblazers has now moved to pan-disability charity Whizz-Kidz (September 2020).