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Parliament: Deaf People & Employment Schemes

dwplogo.jpgAnother question has appeared in parliament around the effectiveness of employment schemes:

Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to measure the effectiveness of specialist disability employment service providers from all sectors working with specific impairment groups, including deaf people, under the (a) Pathways to Work, (b) Flexible New Deal, (c) New Deal for Disabled People, (d) Remploy and (e) Workstep schemes.

Anne McGuire (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions; Stirling, Labour)

All Department for Work and Pensions contracts with employment service providers, including specialist disability employment service providers, contain the performance standards required. Professional contract managers monitor the extent to which these performance standards are met, and address any performance issues through established processes.

Providers of specialist disability employment services are also subject to Ofsted inspection and independent audit.

Remploy's financial and operational performance is regularly reviewed as part of the Department for Work and Pensions' sponsorship role of the company which is a non-departmental public body.

Comment from Alison:
Are deaf people asked if all of the above works? Box ticking? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

They Work For You

See also:
Parliament: Assistance for Deaf People into Employment

Comments (1)

In many ways, until Dering Employment Services Ltd www.dering.biz (I declare an interest as its my company) was set up two years ago, it was mainly organizations such as Shaw Trust or RBLI getting interpreters in to work with deaf people and on rare occasions, having staff who could sign, often because they were CODA. This meant that some deaf people engaged in programmes such as New Deal for Disabled People and others did not - it all depended on the approach of the organization that held the contract in each area and how proactive they would be in marketing their services within the deaf community.

We were set up to address this and to work alongside large organizations delivering Pathways to Work and New Deal for Disabled programmes by going out into the community and making deaf people aware of the range of programmes that are on offer to enable them to get jobs.

The organisations we work with are grateful for our involvement in delivering contracts as we enable them to ensure that deaf people are fully included in accessing programmes and our involvement has been warmly welcomed by Jobcentre Plus.

Dering deliver Pathways to Work for deaf people in 12 Jobcentre Plus districts and from June will start delivering New Deal for Disabled People in 9 further Jobcentre Plus districts. We have some contracts with the Learning and Skills Councils or Regional Development Agencies which allow us to cover areas where we do not have Jobcentre Plus contracts.

Do we make a difference? Yes we do and our successes with winning new contracts prove this as we are recognized as the experts in our field. In just two years we have become the largest provider of employment services for deaf people nationally and the only deaf-owned and deaf-run organisation providing employment services for deaf people.

The programmes listed above enable us to provide the CV/application form, interview technique training and confidence building that deaf people need to move from unemployment into a lasting and sustainable job. What makes us different to the approach of some charities is that we ignore the level of deafness and focus on what the individual wants to do and what they can achieve. 86% of our staff are deaf and as I am deaf myself, we have first hand experience of what it is like for deaf people looking for work.

However, programmes such as Pathways to Work and New Deal for Disabled People are not the answer to every situation. The biggest difficulty we face is that there is no hard and fast rule on if a deaf person will be put on incapacity benefit or Jobseeker Allowance. Different contracts are for different benefits so in most places where we have a contract to work with incapacity benefit claimants we cannot work with Jobseeker Allowance claimants and vice-versa. In some cases we have customers come to us when they are not on benefits at all

Our other main difficultly is that we cannot win contracts everywhere to deliver where we know the demand is there for our services such as in Cardiff, Bristol or Newcastle. Given time that will happen but I am pleased with what we have achieved so far in just two years to enable deaf people to have the same access to employment services as everyone else.

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