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Access to Work Scheme: Marketing

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department is doing to publicise Access to Work. (200783)

The Access to Work national delivery team is currently implementing an internal marketing strategy to ensure that all Jobcentre staff involved with disabled customers are fully briefed on the Access to Work programme. This will cover the aims of the programme, eligibility criteria and the application process.

The programme is also being promoted through presentations and exhibitions, and through close working partnerships developed with the major disability groups such as the Royal National Institute for Blind people, Royal National Institute for Deaf people and MIND.

Articles have appeared in external publications such as ‘Disability Wales’ and the National Spinal Association magazine illustrating how Access to Work can practically support disabled people into paid employment. Additionally, Jobcentre Plus includes information on Access to Work in internally produced magazines such as ‘Inspire’. This magazine, which is targeted at job seekers, is available, along with other leaflets on Access to Work, in all Jobcentre Plus offices. The magazine ‘Engage’, also produced by Jobcentre Plus and aimed at employers, regularly carries information about Access to Work, along with other Jobcentre Plus services.

Information about Access to Work is available on the Jobcentre Plus and Directgov websites. Directgov as a source of information about Jobcentre Plus services for disabled people is widely publicised, for example, in the latest issue of ‘Ability Needs’ magazine. Disability employment advisers, who are often the gateway to Access to Work, are regularly in contact with small to medium sized employers locally and will raise awareness of Access to Work when appropriate.