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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 May 2006, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Move to cut incapacity payments
GP
The new service will also involve GPs
A project to help more people get off incapacity benefit and into work has been launched in the Stirling area.

The initiative, set up by the local council and the Jobcentre, also provides health workers like GPs with a single point of referral for patients.

There are about 4,000 people claiming incapacity benefit in the Stirling area and more than 18,000 in Forth Valley.

Many of these people are willing to move into employment, according to national research.

Job opportunities

The free service, entitled "Wellconnected", has been backed by the UK minister for disabled people and Stirling MP Anne McGuire.

"This type of project will enable us to continue the transformation of the welfare state from the passive one-size-fits-all inheritance to an active service that tailors help to the individual and enables people to acquire the skills and confidence to move from welfare to work," she said.

The initiative, also funded by the European Equal project, also aims to help employers ensure local training and employment opportunities are available to benefit the whole Stirling area.

Stirling Council economy convener John Hendry said: "The success of the project hinges on partnership working with health professionals, employers, education and local organisations to increase the support available to people who want to take that first step on the employment ladder."


SEE ALSO:
Tax and benefits close income gap
15 May 06 |  Business
Reforms 'may create more poverty'
18 Apr 06 |  Scotland


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