My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Phil Hope) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am today announcing the seven sites that have been successful in applying to be Jobs First demonstration sites.
Jobs First is an initiative that will support people with moderate to severe learning disabilities to use their personal budget to purchase the services that they need in order to progress towards paid employment. The project will also demonstrate varying forms of support brokerage that will assist people with learning disabilities to prioritise employment within their support plan.
This approach will be demonstrated and evaluated in seven English local authorities over a 12-month period until March 2011. A number of local authorities were approached to take part in the project.
The seven Jobs First demonstration sites are:
Essex County Council;
Leicester City Council;
London Borough of Newham;
North Tyneside Council; and
Northamptonshire County Council.
These seven local authorities will start to implement Jobs First in April 2010 and the project is expected to run for 12 months. The findings from the project will support government policy on disability equality and worklessness.