Employment: Learning Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 5 December 2017.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to where his Department has reallocated funding from the previous Work Programme and Work Choice to increase the employment opportunities of people with learning disability; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Work and Health Programme, a new contracted provision that will build on lessons learnt from the Work Programme and Work Choice, will start in England and Wales between November 2017 and March 2018. Disabled people, who will be the majority of referrals, can volunteer for the programme at any time.

On Thursday 30 November 2017 we published ‘Improving Lives the Future of Work, Health and Disability’, which sets out details of a lifecourse approach to improving employment opportunities for people with a Learning Disability

In addition:

  • We are introducing 200 Community Partners into Jobcentres - these are external appointments with experience of disability who will engage with disabled people, Jobcentre Plus staff and local employers to strengthen the support we offer disabled people seeking work, including those with learning disabilities.
  • Supported Employment “place and train” will be delivered through the Local Supported Employment initiative. A key element of this is the use of Job Carving, which involves working with an employer to create a job which meets the employer’s needs and can be done by a person with a learning disability.
  • The Supported Work Experience proof of concepts will offer young disabled people, including young people with learning disabilities, the opportunity to take part in short work experience placements.
  • Access to Work has put in place a Hidden Impairment Support Team that aims to give advice and guidance to help employers understand how they can support employees with conditions like a Learning Disability.
  • DWP’s Disability Confident campaign has achieved commitments from over 5000 employers. DWP is requiring all its large contractors to be Disability Confident Leaders within 12 months from Jan 2017 and all main Government departments are now signed up to Disability Confident, ensuring that Government’s contracted services become better employers of people with disabilities, including learning disabilities.

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