03/04/2017 / Leave a comment / Permalink

Work Choice: making the difference for people with disabilities

Related topics: Adult services / Business and economic growth / Community / My area

Enable, Shropshire Council’s supported employment service, is very proud that it is achieving outstanding job results for people with disabilities through its Work Choice programme.

Work Choice is the Government’s specialist employment programme for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. Enable is one of the most successful Work Choice contractors in the West Midlands, passing its target of 84 people into paid employment for 2016-17, with a total of 98 job outcomes.

Enable is committed to supporting vulnerable people into long-term sustainable employment. With over 20 years’ experience, Enable continues to meet and exceed employment targets – placing over 200 people into paid work this financial year so far.

Jonathan, a Work Choice client, managed to secure some work experience in an administration role, with the view of building his confidence when it comes to being in a work environment.

Jonathan said:

“When I signed into Jobcentre Plus I was very apprehensive about starting a job, due to my anxiety and severe lack of self-confidence. My adviser suggested I began my employment journey with Work Choice, explaining that they also help people with invisible restrictions.

The Work Choice team at Enable in Shrewsbury have always been very helpful and approachable. Enable arranged for me to begin some work experience, in order to tackle my aversion to using a telephone, and to increase my chance of employment in my preferred field.

“Enable has been supportive throughout. I have always known that if I come into difficulty with any aspect of the process, they can support me. Due to Enable being in direct liaison with my Jobcentre Plus adviser, I feel my experience has been bespoke and I have never felt like I am simply a number or a statistic.”

Jobseekers on the Work Choice programme are offered a range of different support on their journey to and beyond employment, including; placement/work trials, training and developing skills, building confidence levels, interview coaching, identifying suitable vacancies, as well as overall support throughout the application process and during employment through regular progress reviews.

If you are interested in employing someone through Enable, or if you are interested in using Work Choice or any other of Enable’s services, please phone 01743 276900 or email: enable@shropshire.council.gov.uk.

Further information

Enable works closely with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to support it in its efforts to help people with disabilities into employment with the Work Choice programme. Work Choice is a voluntary scheme, and the nature of support that the individual receives is dependent on the help that they require.

What support is available through this service?

Each case is different, but support can include:

  • Placement/work trials
  • Training and developing skills
  • Building confidence levels
  • Interview coaching
  • Identifying suitable vacancies
  • Overall support throughout the application process and during employment
  • Regular progress reviews.

What is the referral criteria for this service?

To qualify for support from Work Choice, the individual must:

  • Be of working age
  • Need support in work as well as to find a job
  • Be able to work at least 16 hours a week after ‘work entry support’
  • Have a recognised disability that means they find it difficult to obtain or keep a job
  • Require specialist help that they can’t gain from other Government programmes or schemes (for example – workplace adjustments, suppliers working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus or Access to Work)
  • The individual does not need to be receiving benefits to apply.

People matching the above criteria can apply if they already have a job and are at risk of losing it because of their disability. This also applies if the individual is self-employed.

What funding is available for employers?

Funding is available to employers when employing an 18-24 year old:

  • £2,275 for each job of 30 hours or more per week
  • £1,137.50 for each job of between 16 and 29 hours per week.

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