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Employment Assistance

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will make a statement on how carers can be assisted into new learning and work opportunities; [117652](2) what strategies he plans to assist people with disabilities into training and work opportunities. [117653]

Carers and people with disabilities can obtain information about how to access training and learning opportunities through Jobcentre Plus. We are ensuring that the benefit system promotes work where possible for disabled people and carers and, where they meet the eligibility criteria, they can access a wide range of Government employment programmes.There are several initiatives within Jobcentre Plus aimed specifically at helping disabled people to overcome the labour market barriers they may face, including the Access to Work and Work Preparation programmes. New Deal for Disabled People, through its network of Job Brokers across England, Scotland and Wales, is also proving successful in helping disabled people achieve lasting paid employment.In addition, the Green Paper "Pathways to Work: Helping people into employment" (Cm 5690) sets out a new strategy for enabling people on incapacity benefits to move into work, and so become and remain independent. The Government's response and action plan (CM 5830), published on 10 June 2003, gives details of the proposals we are taking forward.