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Young People: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to ensure that the right support is offered to young disabled people who are seeking independence through work or volunteering.

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

This Government is committed to enabling young disabled people to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations. We provide a wide suite of programmes and initiatives to support them, including:

  • Jobcentre support for schools, which targets young people that schools identify as being at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training), or who may otherwise be disadvantaged in the labour market – for example those with a health or disability issue.
  • The Young Person’s Supported Work Experience programme, which will offer a personally tailored supported work experience opportunity to enable young people (aged 18 – 24) to benefit fully from time in the work place. This proof of concept is being tested in five districts.
  • The Local Supported Employment (LSE) proof of concept ‘place and train’ model, which aims to move disabled people into real jobs, at the going rate of pay, with support for both the individual and employer.
  • Supported Internships, which, all qualified post-16 education providers in England have been able to deliver Since September 2013. These are personalised study programmes, based primarily at a prospective employer, for young people with complex learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
  • Access to Work, which already offers support to disabled people undertaking a number of opportunities that help them to prepare for paid employment, including work experience, apprenticeships, supported internships and traineeships.

DWP also recognises the value of voluntary work in developing skills which can be transferred into the world of paid work, as well as benefitting local communities and wider society.

  • Disabled young people who are claiming Universal Credit can have their weekly work search hours reduced by up to 50 per cent to accommodate voluntary work.
  • Those who are receiving Employment and Support Allowance can try out work when this has been agreed beforehand with their work coach, without their benefit being affected. Restrictions on this Permitted Work were relaxed in April 2017 so that any ESA claimant can do this work within certain limits.

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