HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 cc1289-91W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many projects in Greater London received funding to promote participation by disabled people in the workplace in each year since 1997. [158450]

Maria Eagle

Jobcentre Plus run a number of national programmes to help disabled people overcome barriers to employment; all of these are available in London.

The New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP) supports the Government's commitment to "work for those who can and support for those who cannot" and is designed to help people with disabilities and health conditions in finding and sustaining paid employment. NDDP is the first programme specifically designed to support people on disability and health-related benefits into employment. Participation in NDDP is entirely voluntary.

The Access to Work programme is open to disabled people already in employment (including self-employment), people changing jobs and unemployed people about to start work. It helps towards the additional employment costs resulting from disability.

In April 2001, the former Supported Employment Programme was modernised and renamed Workstep; it places greater emphasis on developing disabled people and helping them move into mainstream employment where possible.

Work Preparation is an individually tailored programme that enables people to overcome barriers to work associated with their disability, and prepares them to join the labour market with the necessary confidence to find and keep work.

The Job Introduction Scheme provides a weekly grant of £75 towards the employment costs incurred during the first few weeks of employment. This is usually paid for six weeks but may be extended to a total of 13 weeks. The scheme is for use at the discretion of Jobcentre Plus staff in situations where a disabled applicant is considered suitable, but the employer has genuine doubts about the individual's ability to cope with the proposed job or place of work.