The Pathways to Work pilot schemes are helping more people move
off incapacity benefit and into employment than anywhere else in
the country, writes Clare Jerrom.
In the seven pilot areas, six times as many people claiming
incapacity benefit have taken up support from the New Deal or other
rehabilitation programmes than elsewhere in the country.
“Nine out of 10 people coming onto incapacity benefit told
us they wanted to work and this programme provides them with the
support to achieve their aims,” said Alan Johnson, the work
and pensions secretary.
In the Pathways to Work areas, new claimants attend work
focussed interviews with personal advisers, can access NHS
rehabilitation support and are eligible for a £40-a-week
return to work credit.
The first wave of pilots – in Renfrewshire, Derby and
Bridgend – was launched in October 2003 while a further four pilots
in Essex, Gateshead and South Tyneside and Somerset and East
Lancashire were launched in April.