Scope: Disabled people discuss difficulty finding work
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The DWP is well-known for overseeing benefits and payments, but it is also taking action on work support. One of its latest projects involves helping disabled people as they make a transition into a working role. The Government’s new Access to Work Adjustment “passport” scheme is designed to reduce the need for repeated health assessments when starting a new job.
It is being targeted at disabled university students who are moving from education into work for the first time.
Through the Access to Work scheme, disabled people will be able to benefit from grants worth up to £62,900.
This money can cover the cost of specialist equipment which is needed to support these individuals to do their job.
The so-called passports will be offered to students who already receive extra support while studying at university.
The document will capture information about the condition and the adjustments they already benefit from in the hopes of avoiding repetitive disclosures when it comes to applying for the grant when they start work.
The pilot scheme is now getting underway at the University of Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan University.
The Government states up to 100 students at each university will be supported through the trial.
Thousands more people could potentially benefit from the scheme if it is rolled out across the country.
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Chloe Smith, Minister for Disabled People, commented on the matter.
She said: “Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to thrive at work, starting from the moment they take their first steps on the career ladder.
“By working with University of Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan University on this trial, we can find the best way to for these new passports to support their students into employment.
“Access to Work is a fantastic scheme offering financial support to those people that need extra help.
“Programmes like this, alongside Disability Confident and the over 100 commitments in our National Disability Strategy, will help us get one million more disabled people in work by 2027.”
The Government has acknowledged talking about workplace adjustments can often be difficult.
It hopes, therefore the passport will offer support and empowerment to new employees.
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The passport can also be used as a “communication tool” to aid these discussions as it comes to their disability and necessary adjustments.
Those students who graduate in 2022 will be the first to benefit from the new DWP passports.
The pilot will be completed by March 2023, but if it is judged as successful, the Department will consider rolling it out before it ends.
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