Redbridge set to pilot a ‘unique’ scheme to get young disabled people into work

Young jobseekers with special needs in Redbridge will soon be benefiting from an employment scheme being championed by a borough MP.

Lee Scott, the Conservative MP for Ilford North, along with Redbridge Council and Interface, a Redbridge forum for parents with disabled children, is working on a three-year pilot to help disabled school-leavers into work.

From this autumn, young people will be matched with businesses for full-time, part-time and voluntary roles with mentors provided to ease the transition into the workplace.

Mr Scott is calling on companies to get involved with their views and expressions of interest.

The MP, who has been meeting with companies including the Barkingside Traders’ Association and Hainault Business Park, said: “How ever hard I try I can’t get around every business.

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“Parents want their young people to be working with everyone.

“It shouldn’t be because someone has a disability that they’re hidden away.”

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Participants will initially be assessed by qualified staff to help find a suitable role and once working will receive the normal wage that could be expected for the work, according to Mr Scott.

Financial incentives for participating companies could form part of the final plans.

National charities the National Autistic Society, Kisharon and Norwood are involved.

Mary Busk, a member of the Interface group which drew up a proposal for the scheme, said: “We’ve got a chance to do something unique at a borough level.

“The reason it’s needed, there are already national schemes to help young people into work, but there’s a lot of disabled people who don’t fit the criteria. “They can’t get work but they really want to work.

“For it to be a success, it has to be business-led. “Businesses have to be very much involved in it, so they can see the value disabled people have and the contribution they can make.”

Redbridge Council is set to provide an officer to help run the scheme.

No one disability will be targeted and participants could come from neighbouring boroughs, but the majority of jobs will be focused in Redbridge.

And though aimed at school-leavers, there will also not be an age limit to who is involved.

Write to Mr Scott at The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

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