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Islington council to help disabled into work with new scheme

PUBLISHED: 17:35 23 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:35 23 July 2015

Parking space for disabled person/

Parking space for disabled person/

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Recent statistics showed unemployment rates fall but disabled still face barriers to work

New measures to help the disabled and mentally ill into work are being considered by Islington council following a report into the barriers to employment those with long term health problems face.

Recent figures showed unemployment rates in Islington drop back to pre-recession levels, with just 7.8 per cent of the working age population being without a job.

But this fall is masking the “serious and entrenched problem” of worklessness among those with disabilities or mental health issues, a report by the council’s Assistant Chief Executive for Health and Wellbeing found.

“This is the overwhelming reason that Islington’s employment rate (68.6 per cent of the working age population) lags well behind that of London (71.2 per cent) and Britain (72.4 per cent) as a whole,” the report stated.

According to figures provided in the report, Islington has the highest rate of claims for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Incapacity Benefit (IB) of any London borough.

The council is now considering proposals to set up a Health and Work programme in partnership with Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to improve access to employment.

Jaspal Dhani, CEO of Disability Action in Islington, was not surprised by the figures but said the move was positive.

“It is good to see the council taking a positive and constructive stance on this issue, which has gone on for some years,” he said.

“Disabled people want to work and should be supported to do so.”


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