A new disability equality drive by the government will see employers offered a cash incentive to take on disabled young people.
From July, a payment of up to £2,275 will be made available for employers who recruit young disabled people through the government’s Work Choice scheme, with the subsidy being paid over the first six months of employment.
“In a tough economic climate, addressing youth unemployment is a key priority for this government. Through this wage incentive we are encouraging employers to hire more young disabled people by providing some money ourselves,” said minister for disabled people Maria Miller.
“By creating a partnership between government and the employer, it will give more young disabled people the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the workplace, so that the employer will keep that young person on beyond the six months of the subsidy.”
Introduced in 2010, the Work Choice scheme replaced three previously existing initiatives – WorkStep, Work Preparation and the Job Introduction Scheme.
It provides a three-stage support programme for people with disabilities to help them find a job and thrive in the workplace.
The first stage focuses on work entry support and lasts for six months, helping people to develop personal skills and offering work-related advice so that they are better-equipped to find either supported or unsupported work.
This is followed by two years of in-work support, designed to help those with disabilities start work and stay in their job.
Finally, longer-term support is available to help those who are in employment to progress in their jobs and, where appropriate, move into unsupported work.
The new wage incentive will also run alongside the government’s recently introduced Youth Contract programme.
This £1 billion scheme aims to help young people into work through a variety of initiatives, including wage incentives and increased apprenticeship and work experience opportunities.