Microlink and CEO Dr Nasser Siabi OBE are proud to announce their involvement in the creation of ‘Improving Lives – the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper’ released today by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health. Dr Siabi contributed with multiple solutions outlined in his ‘transition into employment’ report, as well as his direct involvement with task force initiatives.
Supporting young people
Gaining employment after leaving education should be a core part of the journey into adulthood for disabled young people and young people with health conditions yet successful outcomes are far too low. Young people who are out of work and begin to claim Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit early in their lives can face scarring effects of long-term unemployment if they do not move into work. To explore how to better support this group we will test a voluntary, supported Work Experience programme for young people with limited capability for work. This will enable young people to benefit from time in the workplace with a mainstream employer to build their confidence and skills, enhance their CV and demonstrate their ability to perform a job role.
There are over 250,000 children and young people in education in England with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. Most have a learning disability or autism and many do not get the support they need to move into work. These young people who have an EHC plan at age 15 are more than twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training at 18. Just 5.8% of adults with a learning disability known to local authorities are in a job. This must be addressed. We will work with organisations to listen to the views of people with a learning disability and their families to look at what we can do to improve employment opportunities for this group.
We will open up apprenticeships to young people with a learning disability. For this group, we will make adjustments to English and maths requirements and draw on the £2.5 billion the government will make available for apprenticeships each year by the end of this Parliament. We will also work with social enterprises and disabled entrepreneurs to set up apprenticeships specifically for young disabled people.
Jobcentre Plus will increase support in schools for young disabled people, by bringing in Supported Employment providers, business mentors and young disabled people who are in work to inspire young people to see employment as an achievable goal. This could include 2 weeks supported work experience.’
The publication reflects the Government’s new and ambitious approach to work, health and disability. The Government wants to join up systems and change attitudes within the welfare system, across the health service, but also with employers and across wider society, so that more people can benefit from the positive impact on health and wellbeing that appropriate work can bring
The publication also marks the start of a public consultation, which runs until 17th February 2017. We want to spark a far-reaching, national debate on the issues and the proposals set out in the Green Paper, ensuring that we listen to others so that we can develop our programme of work and understand the role others have to play in driving action forward.
An online survey hosted on Citizen Space provides a simple and easily accessible way to respond to all consultation questions. It can be found at: https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/workandhealth/consult/