Access to Work Scheme

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th October 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Winchester Baroness Thomas of Winchester Spokesperson in the Lords, Work & Pensions

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to publicise the access to work scheme.

Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions) (also in the Department for Communities and Local Government)

The Access to Work national delivery team is currently implementing an internal marketing strategy to ensure that all Jobcentre staff involved with disabled customers are fully aware of the Access to Work programme. This will cover the aims of the programme, eligibility criteria and the application process. An online aide-memoire is being produced which employer-facing staff can use to raise the profile of Access to Work.

The programme is also being promoted through presentations and exhibitions, and through close working partnerships developed with the major disability groups such as the Royal National Institute for Blind people, Royal National Institute for Deaf people and Mind. Partnerships with the Employers' Forum on Disability and with large employers such as the Royal Mail Group have been developed.

Jobcentre Plus continues to place articles about Access to Work in a variety of publications. For example, articles have appeared in external publications such as Disability Wales and the National Spinal Association magazine illustrating how Access to Work can practically support disabled people into paid employment. The magazine Inspire, produced by Jobcentre Plus and targeted at jobseekers, regularly carries information about Access to Work and is available, along with other leaflets on Access to Work, in all Jobcentre Plus offices. Additionally, articles about Access to Work have appeared in Engage, the Jobcentre Plus internally produced magazine for employers.

Information about Access to Work is available on the Jobcentre Plus and Directgov websites. Directgov, as a source of information about Jobcentre Plus services for disabled people, is widely publicised. Disability employment advisers, who are often the gateway to Access to Work, are regularly in contact with small to medium-sized employers locally and will raise awareness of Access to Work when appropriate.

In response to the welfare reform Green Paper of 21 July 2008, No One Written OffReforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility, which included a proposal to increase Access to Work funding, ways to further improve marketing of the scheme are being considered.

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