New powers to help disabled people into work

Greater Manchester and London will receive around £100 million to help thousands more disabled people get into work.

Despite progress in the last few years, the gap between the employment rates of disabled people and non-disabled people remains too large at 32 per cent.

The two cities will use the funding to develop, procure and deliver localised versions of the new Work and Health Programme to fit the needs of their residents.

Alongside this announcement, the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper is currently seeking views from disabled people, stakeholders and the public.

Damian Green, Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “This is a significant step to help thousands of disabled and vulnerable people get the support they need to move away from benefits and find lasting work. Good work has huge benefits for physical and mental health and we are committed to helping all those people who can work to find work.

“By devolving powers we are sending our clearest message yet that we are serious about making changes for the better, and believe this can be found in the expertise of local providers who know their residents best.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, added: “I am delighted that funding and responsibility for the new Work and Health Programme is to be devolved to London government. This is a great example of how we can put party politics aside and work closely with the national government ‎in the best interests of all Londoners.

“Delivering this programme at a local level will result in greater integration of employment support with other local services. This will lead to better outcomes for Londoners, with those who need support receiving it at the right time.”

Sean Anstee, Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s lead member for Skills and Employment, concluded: “In Greater Manchester we know that when we create local solutions to help people back in to work they are much more effective. Through intensive, tailored support from local key workers our Working Well programme has helped people right across our city-region get back in to the workplace.

“These new devolved powers will help us expand Working Well and make a real difference to people’s lives. More people will now get the support they need to find a job and be successful in Greater Manchester.”