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11 December 2013
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An additional £2 million has been set aside by the government to make it easier for disabled people in the workplace.
The money, part of the Access to Work scheme, will be used to allow disabled people to take up work experience placements.
Previously the scheme only offered support for work experience set up through JobCentre Plus.
From September, Access to Work will also provide support for disabled people starting internships and traineeships.
Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said: “Most people undertake work experience at some point and it is only right that disabled people have the same access to the same opportunities as everybody else.
“This change will put them firmly in control of their own careers by removing a barrier that prevented them from making their own arrangements in the past.”
Access to Work provides financial help towards the extra costs faced by disabled people at work, such as support workers, specialist aids and equipment and travel to work support.
Last year Access to Work supported more than 30,000 disabled people get or keep employment.
There are about 3.6 million disabled people currently not in work.
The employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the last 10 years, from 44.5% in 2002 to 48.9% in 2012.