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Access to Work

Volume 447: debated on Friday 16 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much of the Access to Work budget for the last five years has been claimed by organisations in Stoke-on-Trent, North. (68315)

Access to Work funds individuals and not organisations. The information requested is not available. However, the Access to Work spend for all customers is in the following table.

Access to Work actual spend for all customers in the West Midlands

Spend in £









To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much his Department plans to spend on the Access to Work scheme in each year to 2010; (75168)

(2) how he plans to extend the Access to Work scheme.

Access to Work spend has increased from £14.6 million in 1997-98 to £59.5 million in 2004-05. DWP has allocated £62 million in 2006-07 for Access to Work, and this programme is now helping some 32,000 disabled people to move into or retain jobs they might otherwise lose because of their disability.

No decisions on funding have been made beyond 2006-07.

Last month I asked Jobcentre Plus to withdraw Access to Work funding in respect of people directly employed by Government Departments. The Departments will still be able to use Access to Work expertise in determining appropriate workplace adjustments, however, the adjustments will be funded from their own resources. This decision will take effect from October 2006 and is in line with practice in my Department since 2003 and with the recommendations of the Prime Minister’s strategy unit report ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’.

The savings realised by this change will be re-invested in the programme, and, as a result of this change, support for disabled people will be more greatly focused towards those disabled people who work for small and medium sized employers.