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New government ‘passport’ to help disabled graduates get into employment

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

Hundreds of disabled university students are set to benefit from a new ‘passport’ scheme that will support them as they move into work. The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Access to Work Adjustment Passport will ease the transition from university into employment by reducing the need for repeated health assessments when starting a new job.

The pilot scheme, announced as part of the National Disability Strategy, is now getting underway at University of Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan University. Through Access to Work, disabled people can benefit from grants worth up to £62,900 to cover the cost of specialist equipment needed to support them to do their job.

A passport will be offered to students who already receive extra support while studying at university, capturing information about their condition and the adjustments they already benefit from, avoiding repetitive disclosures when it comes to applying for the grant once they start work.

Up to 100 students at each university will be supported through the trial, and thousands more could benefit if the scheme is rolled out across the country. The passport is designed to give holders the confidence to have conversations about their disability and adjustments with potential employers, which can otherwise be challenging. They will also help to raise awareness of the Access to Work scheme and encourage further uptake.

Students who graduate in 2022 will be the first to benefit from the Adjustments Passports. The pilot will be completed by March 2023. Adjustments Passports will also be piloted with disabled youngsters on a supported internship, apprenticeship or a traineeship, in March 2022.

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