By Daniel Hunter
Over 25,000 young disabled people are benefiting from Government schemes designed to get them into jobs or training, according to latest statistics.
This includes over 14,000 young disabled people who have gained skills through the Work Experience scheme and almost 3,000 who have set up their own business using the New Enterprise Allowance.
The schemes form part of the Government’s Get Britain Working measures that were introduced in 2011 to help close the gap between the number of disabled and non-disabled people in employment.
Currently around 46%of working age disabled people have jobs compared with 76% of people who are not disabled - a gap of 30%.
“Young disabled people want the same career choices as everybody else and in every sector — from hairdressing to engineering and everything in between," Minister for Disabled People Esther McVey said.
“With this extra help, thousands more young disabled people are getting the chance to start their own business or get their first foothold in the jobs market.
“Young disabled people have told me that they can’t get a job without experience and they can’t get experience without a job. That is why our Work Experience scheme is particularly valuable as it gives them a chance to show employers what they can do.”
Latest statistics show:
- 14,530 disabled people gain Work Experience
- 6,100 have worked with a business mentor
- 2,840 set up their own business through the New Enterprise Allowance
- 6,060 got training through the Sector Based Work Academies
The employment rate for disabled people has increased gradually over the years from 44 per cent in 2002 to almost 50 per cent in 2012. If disabled people’s employment rate matched that of the rest of the population an extra two million disabled people would be in work.
Work Experience placements offer young people a few weeks with a local employer to help build their CVs and job skills.
The New Enterprise Allowance helps unemployed people who want to start their own business by providing access to financial support — a weekly allowance worth up to £1,274 and a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs — as well as business mentoring from local entrepreneur mentors.
Sector-based work academies offer pre-employment training and work placements in growth industries with a guaranteed job interview.
Young disabled people may also get specialist employment support through Access to Work. This offers financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work — such as specially adapted equipment or support workers or transport to work.
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