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15,000 people in Derby not working due to sickness

today25 August 2022

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Hundreds of people In Derby struggling to find work because of their disability or long-term illness could soon gain employment following a new action plan by council chiefs. Derby City Council is set to be part of a joint bid for government funding which, if successful, will create a new scheme to help almost 700 unemployed people in the city find new jobs.

An urgent meeting of the council’s Conservative cabinet is to take place on Friday to approve a joint bid in which it is hoped Derby City Council will receive £1.5 million to help boost its disability employment rates. Current data from the Department for Work and Pensions for April 2022, shows that, in Derby, 14,499 (9 per cent) people of working age (16-64) are claiming out of work benefits, due to disabilities and long-term health problems. Almost 10 per cent of these are anxiety and depression related, while over 20 per cent suffer from back pain, chronic pain or arthritis. seven per cent have a learning disability and five per cent are on the autism spectrum.

Read more: DWP issues £650 to 121,600 Derbyshire households in cost of living boost

Data also states that around 50 per cent of disabled people in work in Derby, compared to over 80 per cent of non-disabled people. It is said that for this reason Derby will score higher in a funding bid, as an “identified city where employment rates for people with disability need support to increase”.

A council report published ahead of the upcoming meeting says the council is looking to help create employment opportunities for autistic sufferers in the city who cannot find work or face barriers due to their disability. There are also ambitions to find work for deaf people in Derby. It is reported that Derby has the second largest deaf population in the country. People with long term illnesses could also get back into work via such a scheme.

If the bid is successful a project could start from April next year. These plans follow the announcement of a £40 million government package of support to commission six projects nationally to deliver Individual Placement Support (IPS). This is a scheme that helps people accessing health services find work to aid their recovery.

Derby City Council is partnering with Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council on a £6 million total bid “as the bidding process is competitive, and jointly bidding with Nottingham provides a competitive advantage”.

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