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Training and Job Support for Incapacity Claimants

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More than 160,000 people on incapacity benefits will get training and jobs support, work and pensions secretary David Blunkett has announced.

The initiative will be targeted at areas such as Glasgow, Cumbria, West Lancashire and the Tees Valley with high levels of people claiming the benefits.,

Blunkett said: “Nearly all people coming onto incapacity benefits want and expect to get back to work. Our job is to help them surmount the barriers they face. This is not just good for the individual but for the local community and economy too, so that skills and potential do not go to waste.”

Under the Pathways to Work scheme new benefit claimants are assigned a skilled personal adviser for monthly work-focused interviews. They can be referred to NHS rehabilitation programmes and access training courses. This support is also available for those already on the benefit.

This is the first step in the expansion of Pathways to Work to a third of people on incapacity benefits as set out in the Chancellor's Pre-Budget speech in December 2004.

A further nine areas will run from next April and an additional three in October 2006.

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