Minister praises uptake of schemes to help sick and disabled Scots find work

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Almost 3,500 people have joined new programmes to help sick and disabled Scots get into work.

New figures show that between April and September, 2,760 people joined the Work First Scotland scheme which provides employment support for disabled people.

During the same period, 699 people joined Work Able Scotland, aimed at helping those with a health condition who are keen to get a job.

The programmes were set up after the Scotland Act 2016 devolved new responsibility for employment support services to Holyrood.

They began providing help to those who need it from April, running for a year on a transitional basis, ahead of a full Scottish programme of support schemes being introduced in April 2018.

Employability minister Jamie Hepburn said: “These statistics show the strong start we’ve made towards meeting our commitment to provide a fairer and more targeted employment support service based on principles of dignity and respect.

“The success of Work First Scotland and Work Able Scotland so far is proof that our targeted approach – which serves people without the threat of sanctions – works.

“We must now build upon this solid foundation to ensure that we continue to meet our aim of supporting up to 4,800 people with disabilities and health conditions towards and into work this year.”