Whilst the welfare to work sector is in the midst of a period of uncertainty with the ending of the Work Programme and Work Choice contracts, Pluss is delighted at the government’s clear focus on people with health conditions and disabilities. Our approach to sustainable employment outcomes for our customers is predicated on providing expert advice, guidance and support for individuals and employers, and enables us to achieve up to a 70% job entry rate, 84% of whom are typically still in work three months later.
Using this approach in future programmes will ensure that we maximise the effectiveness of DWP funding through the Work and Health Programme and ESF programmes etc. However, if we are to achieve the goal of halving the disability employment gap, contracted services can only ever be part of the solution.
Changing perceptions and behaviours within society as a whole is critical. Pluss is an avid supporter of the Disability Confident campaign and has hosted 15 events across the UK so far. It’s also critical to recognise that people with disabilities aren’t somehow a separate group – they are all of us. Over 80% of people with disabilities have acquired their disability as a result of injury or illness, therefore when we consider how those people should be supported, we each need to think about how we would want to be helped should we find ourselves in that situation. Adopting this approach will enable the shift which is so important in helping people to achieve the outcomes that they deserve.
Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer, Pluss