Young disabled people seeking work or new skills, living in North and East London, are being invited by Leonard Cheshire Disability to join a new, tailored employment and training initiative.
The scheme, called Worksmart, is aimed at young disabled people aged between 16 and 25, who are not in employment, education or training. They must have a statement of special educational needs or equivalent. Leonard Cheshire Disability will work with them to find the right job for them or to gain the skills they need to get one, or to move into further education.
In London nearly 50 per cent of disabled people aged 16-64 are out of work, a much higher proportion than non-disabled people (27 per cent). 
Eleven per cent of London’s population is young and disabled. As well as being far more likely to be unemployed, those who are in employment have lower earnings than non-disabled people. 
Each young person on the Worksmart scheme will have their own advisor who will design an individual action plan for them and help them to build their confidence and independence. The support will include access to job clubs, CV writing, interview techniques, work experience and training. Those who move into work will also get support for the first year, to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Worksmart, a two-and-a-half year scheme, is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability and is part of the European Social Fund and the Mayor of London’s Youth Programme. The scheme is being rolled out in the following boroughs: Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, WalthamForest, Redbridge, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham and Havering.
Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Rob Maisey, who manages the Worksmart initiative, said: “In the current economic climate young disabled people are facing even greater challenges than their non disabled peers. That’s why we are looking forward to working with eligible young people who are keen to move into employment or full time education, or want to gain new skills, and make sure they are given the support they need to succeed. We are urging these people to get in touch as soon as possible.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It is critical that we invest in our young people, especially those that need extra support in equipping them with the skills needed to succeed in life. These vital projects will help turn around the lives of young Londoners facing challenges, by helping them to stay in education, providing job opportunities and offering long term mentoring support.”
For support or to find out more about Worksmart, people can contact Leonard Cheshire Disability on 0845 671 7173 (option 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Leonard Cheshire Disability
Leonard Cheshire Disability is one of the UK’s largest voluntary sector providers of services to disabled people. We support thousands of people with physical and learning disabilities in the UK and we work with Cheshire partner organisations in 54 countries around the world. We campaign for change and provide innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live life their way. Visit www.LCDisability.org
 Statement of Special Educational Needs or a Moving On plan (S1398) if moving from school to college