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New Deal

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of participants in the New Deal for Lone Parents (a) have disabilities and (b) are parents; what action is being taken to improve the ability of persons with more than one such potential impediment to get into work; and if he will make a statement. (96604)

At the end of February, there were 63,370 participants on New Deal for Lone Parents, of which, 5.6 per cent. (3,590) declared themselves as disabled. Since the start of the programme in 1998, 4.3 per cent. of those starting New Deal for Lone Parents have declared themselves as disabled, and of the 457,850 lone parents helped into work through the programme, just over 4 per cent. were disabled. All participants on New Deal for Lone Parents are parents.

All New Deal for Lone Parent advisers receive disability awareness training, and if a lone parent needs extra support because of a disability or health condition, they can be referred to a Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Adviser (DEA). DEAs support recently disabled people, or those whose health condition or disability has deteriorated and who need employment advice. They can refer people, where appropriate for occupational health assessments, or to access to work advisers, as well as the full range of Jobcentre Plus disability programmes. In addition, DEAs support people who encounter barriers in the workplace associated with disability, and also provide advice and support to employers regarding the employment and retention of disabled people and those with health conditions.