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Disabled People (Work)

Volume 587: debated on Monday 3 November 2014

There is a range of provision to help disabled people, including the Work programme, Work Choice and Access to Work. We also launched our Disability Confident campaign to promote disabled people to employers.

I thank the Minister for that reply. Jobseekers with learning difficulties need support that jobcentres sometimes struggle to provide. They often do better when placed in social enterprises like Pack-IT Hereford in my constituency. Will he take steps to encourage such placements, and join me in congratulating Pack-IT Hereford on its work?

I do indeed join my hon. Friend and constituency neighbour in congratulating Pack-IT Hereford on its work. That is one of a range of opportunities that we are looking at to get more people with learning disabilities into work.

But the inconvenient truth for the Minister is that the Work programme has been a terrible failure, particularly for those on employment and support allowance. Last week, Ministers were boasting that things have improved: that 10% of people are being helped. That is fine—but what is he doing for the 90% who are not?

The hon. Gentleman is a bit of a glass-half-full person. The 10% of people being helped through the Work programme is a significant improvement, and a significant number of people who go through Work Choice get into work. That is a very considerable record, and 116,000 more disabled people are in work this year than last year.

13. The Minister is right that when it comes to getting a job, personalised support is as critical to people with a learning disability as it is to anyone else. Will he support Basingstoke’s Mencap, which provides training and a jobs club, and in February a jobs fair, to help people with learning disabilities to find the right work for them? (905815)

I very much support my right hon. Friend, who is very knowledgeable about these matters, and congratulate Mencap in her constituency on its Aspire project. It strongly supports the work of the Disability Confident campaign in getting more disabled people, including those with learning disabilities, into work, and I commend it strongly.