New £1 million Programme To Help Nearly 1,000 Disabled People Find Jobs Opens For Business.
A new initiative designed to help nearly a thousand disabled people across Strathclyde find jobs over the next three years has been officially launched.
The Strathclyde Momentum Programme has been set up with around £1 million in funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities initiative, with the aim of assisting disabled people to find meaningful employment and reduce their risk of social exclusion.
It offers a multi-disciplinary approach to help turn what can seem like a giant leap of taking the first step toward employment into a series of more manageable steps.
Based in Paisley – but operating across Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire – the programme aims to put 900 disabled people in touch with job-seeking services over the three years of the project.
George Adam, MSP for Paisley, launched the initiative at a ceremony at the programme’s headquarters.
After performing the official opening, the MSP said: “I was delighted to officially launch the new Strathclyde Momentum Programme, based in the heart of my constituency.
“This initiative will tackle the problem of exclusion which many people experience when they are looking for employment.
“I know personally about the challenges disabled people face. My wife Stacey is a wheelchair user as a result of having Multiple Sclerosis.
“The objective of providing the right support for 900 people, with disabilities, across Strathclyde is admirable and I wish this programme every success.”
The Strathclyde Momentum Programme is targeted at people who are furthest away from the jobs market, and who are usually referred by JobCentre Plus and the NHS.
The project offers a holistic person-centred approach with the aim of supporting and enabling disabled people to break down the barriers to accessing employment – by giving them access to the skills, knowledge and experience that they need in order to maximise their chances of getting a job.
The programme aims to deliver assistance – custom tailored to individual needs and aspirations – that will support disabled people to access employment through job support, and work placements, to ensure that people are able to move into the paid employment of their choice.
It also offers a comprehensive integrated system of social skills, personal development and lifestyle learning, as well as a full aftercare service to ensure that the person can maintain and sustain employment opportunities.
George Waddell, programme manager, said: “The culture of the initiative is to promote social inclusion by improving self-confidence, self-respect and self-esteem while enabling employers to understand the barriers faced by individuals in the workplace.
“This approach emphasises the dignity of employment and enhances the individual’s sense of self-worth with its emphasis on participant choice.”
Despite the project only being operational for a few weeks, it is already achieving successes – with nine people on work placements and one person having secured a full-time post.
The programme is delivered by a multi-disciplinary staff team of eight, which consists of an occupational psychologist, occupational health therapist, assistive physiotherapist, assistive technology specialist and employment liaison officers.