AMBITIOUS new targets to help more people with mental health conditions and learning disabilities in the workplace have been announced by Minister for Disabled People, Jonathan Shaw.
From April, 2,000 people with learning disabilities and up to 1,500 people with mental health conditions will be guaranteed places on the Access to Work programme to help them stay in work.
Jonathan Shaw said:
“Last year Access to Work helped over 32,000 people, and this number will continue to grow as the programme budget grows.
“But we know that a disappointingly low number of people with severe mental health conditions or learning disabilities are getting this funding which would help them stay at work.
People with mental health and learning disabilities face complex barriers, finding it difficult to get into and stay in work and we recognise we need to do more to help them.
“By setting these ambitious targets and doubling the Access to Work budget to £138m by 2013/14, we will make sure that even more help reaches those who need it.”
The Access to Work programme has been operating since 1994, and is aimed at people with long-term health conditions or impairments who need extra practical support to take up work or to do their job.
The types of support provided includes: special aids and equipment; adaptations to premises and equipment; travel to work grants; support workers; and communicator support at interview.