The Scottish Government has announced an extra £1 million to support disabled parents to progress toward employment and to compete for suitable jobs. Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell made the announcement as part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan progress update on 20 August. The additional funding will be delivered through the newly launched Parental Employment Support Fund (PESF).
The Scottish Government’s Disability Employment Team recently undertook focus groups with disabled parents and disabled people’s organisations (DPO’s) exploring perceived gaps and issues in relation to existing employability support, to inform the development of the Disabled Parents Employability Support Fund (DPESF). SCLD is pleased to contribute to this process.
The Employability Team is due to meet with local authorities to provide feedback from this engagement and to explore how local authorities plan to involve disabled people in shaping future delivery.
Key issues raised by the focus group included the need to:
- Increase awareness of and confidence amongst parents themselves to access employability support
- Increase awareness amongst employability key workers of the specific support disabled parents would welcome
- Increase understanding and awareness among employers of disability equality – including: dispelling myths and stereotypes regarding disabled people; increasing knowledge of reasonable adjustments and available support (e.g. Access to Work); improving understanding of flexible working etc.
- Retain and continue to build on recent improvements in employer practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic around flexible and home working
- Enhance wraparound support for disabled parents to facilitate their access to support services and subsequent transition to work (e.g. childcare support, assistance in securing accessible transport)
- Offer a more holistic approach that helps to align employability with complementary services (e.g. health and social care support, housing) as well as benefits and financial advice.