For disabled people who are ready to start looking for a job, DWP provides support through a network of trained advisers in Jobcentres. Where someone faces a complex employment situation, arising from health or disability, our Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) and Work Psychologists offer more in-depth support. This starts with an assessment by the Work Psychologist of the individual’s employment situation (employment assessment) and includes access to specialist disability programmes like Work Choice. DEAs also engage with employers and advocate for people.
DWP continues to refresh Disability Employment Advisers’ skills. Recently, staff were alerted to the list of Disabled People’s User Led Organisationsand the services they provide which may assist customers. A recent re-launch of the Hidden Impairment Toolkit will help staff to focus on how they can provide better support to people with autism and associated hidden impairment conditions by putting in place appropriate reasonable adjustment solutions at the earliest stage to help individuals find and keep a job.
Our main employment programme - Work Programmeis designed to support a wide variety of individuals into employment, including those with disabilities. Today, around 2,700 disabled people every month get jobs through Work Programme. Work Programme providers have been given complete flexibility to innovate and design support tailored to individual and local needs, with the particular type of support offered to participants determined by the providers’ assessment of what would best help an individual move closer to and stay in employment.
We are developing a new Gateway: an innovative, evidence-based, employment-focused self-assessment tool which will sit at the core of DWP’s specialist disability and health strategy. The Gateway Questions help claimants to review their ability to search for jobs independently. All claimants are asked about employment, disability and health and this informs choices about the support that they need to maximise their employment prospects. The questions also encourage claimants to look ahead to employment, job retention and progression.