§ The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. Andrew Smith)
I laid before the House on 18 November 2002 a consultation document entitled "Pathways to Work, Helping People into Employment" Cm 5690. This outlined a range of proposals to provide more effective support to people with health conditions and disabled people. The Pathways to Work pilots represent the next steps in the Government's strategy of providing people with health conditions and disabilities with the help and support they need—particularly support in helping them into employment. My Department, together with the Department of Health and appropriate Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly officials, have been preparing for the implementation of the Pilots.
On 26 March I announced the locations of the first three Pathways to Work pilots and on 5 June I subsequently announced the locations of the final four pilots.
Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of the first three pilots—Bridgend Rhondda Cynon Taf; Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Argyll & Bute; and Derbyshire.
The pilots will provide a range of individual help and support (including new condition management programmes provided by the NHS and a range of financial incentives) for people with health conditions and disabilities. We will fully evaluate the impact of the extra support we are providing.