Employers are being given financial incentives to employ severely disabled young people under a three-year government scheme that promises payments of up to £2,275 for each worker on 30 hours or more hours a week.
The money will normally be available after the recruit has been in a job for at least six months although smaller companies will be able to claim £700 of the total after two months. Smaller payments will be available to those who take on workers doing 16 to 29 hours a week.
The programme for those “with more complex issues” was launched on Wednesday, the eve of further strikes by disabled workers protesting at the closure of government-owned Remploy factories. Half the 54 sites are to be shut by the end of the year while others face an uncertain future. More than 1,400 jobs are at risk under the closures.
The payments are far smaller than the £25,000 a year the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) says it spends subsidising each job at Remploy.
Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, said: “Young disabled people tell me they want the same job opportunities as everyone else and in every sector of the economy … This will not only help (them) gain practical experience in the workplace, but also showcase their talents and give them the edge in a tough jobs market.”