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Government announces independent review into support for disabled people who want to work

The Minister for disabled people, Maria Miller, has today announced a review into disability employment support.

Announcing the review Miller (pictured) said the Government wanted to ensure people disadvantaged in the labour market got the help they needed to find and keep jobs.

"Our aim is that government programmes should support more disabled people than ever before into sustainable employment. This review is designed to ensure there is a cohesive set of measures in place, which meet the needs of disabled people in sustaining employment," she said.

Miller added that "in the current fiscal climate it is more important than ever that the funding available for employment support is used more effectively". 

"Decisions on the use of the available funding should draw on robust evidence about what works in the modern labour market and on how the support meets the needs of individual disabled people. In this context, the review will examine DWP’s current employment support for people with severe disability-related barriers to work, and make recommendations about how this can be further improved to provide better value for money over the life of this Parliament."

Liz Sayce, chief executive of the disability organisation RADAR, will conduct the review.

Remploy, the largest provider of specialist disability employment programmes, welcomed the review as both "important and timely".

"Disabled people still face greater barriers to employment than non-disabled people. However, their needs and aspirations have changed out of all recognition during Remploy’s lifetime and we must design services and support that reflects their ambitions, not yesterday’s assumptions," said chief executive Tim Matthews

"We will be sharing with the review our experience of what works and what doesn’t work and how to focus resources in a way that best meets the needs of disabled people. Where current provision does not provide either meaningful employment for disabled people or good value for money, we will say so based on our own evidence and experience," he added.

Miller called for evidence to inform the review, which will close on January 31, 2011. The outcome of the review is expected by summer 2011.