Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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HUW IRRANCA-DAVIES SEES HOW PATHWAYS TEAM HELPED PHIL UNLOCK POTENTIAL

Wales Office Minister Huw Irranca-Davies celebrated the fourth year anniversary of Pathways in Bridgend by meeting a successful businessman whose life was changed with the help of Jobcentre Plus.

Three years ago a serious accident meant Phil Diamond had to give up his career as a fitter in heavy industry. But thanks to the Jobcentre Plus Pathways to Work team Phil had help setting up a successful business as a locksmith in Bridgend market.

Phil is one of nearly 5,000 people who have been helped into work by the Jobcentre Plus Pathways To Work team in Bridgend.

Huw Irranca-Davies said: "Phil is an excellent example of how the government´s Pathways to Work initiative is helping people on incapacity benefit, people who have traditionally been left behind, back into the workplace.

"It is about meeting the requirements of individuals – giving them the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to get the jobs that are out there."

The 55-year-old, from Bridgend, said: "I was seriously injured after a fall, in which I had multiple injuries to my knees, head and elbows. I also had to have the end of my finger amputated.

"I had to finish work in 1994 and then I found it very difficult to find another job. But when I went to Bridgend Jobcentre Plus, My advisor Pat was brilliant. I can´t praise her enough. She and all the Jobcentre staff put in 110 per cent effort to help me."

Pathways to Work gave Phil financial help towards the start-up of his business, including help towards the cost of tools. Also Shaw Trust (a charity which provides advice and support for people with disabilities), paid for a locksmiths´ course and Prime Cymru, which gives advice about self-employment to people age 50 and over, also helped.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Huw Irranca-Davies and Phil Diamond will be available for interviews and pictures: Monday 5th November, 12.00 Bridgend Market.

Pathways to Work pilots offer early, sustained support to involve Jobcentre Plus, the NHS and the voluntary sector to support people with health conditions and disabilities. The package includes:

  • Support from a highly skilled Personal Adviser support and contact every month in the first 8 months of the claim when people can be most readily be helped back to work
  • Groundbreaking NHS rehabilitation support so that they can learn to manage and cope with their health condition (e.g. back pain, angina, mental illness) so they can get back to work
  • Strong local partnerships with the New Deal for Disabled People - voluntary and private sector employment advisers
  • £40 a week return to work credit once they get a job so that it always pays to get back to work
  • Work with local GPs and employers to ensure people on IB are not discouraged from working again
  • Details of the Government´s recent Welfare Reform Bill can be read at www.dwp.gov.uk/aboutus/welfarereform/

This press release was issued by the Department for Work and Pensions Press Office, Wales.

Press office:Clare Djordjevitch 02920 348430

Out of hours: 07659 108 883
Public enquiries: 020 7712 2171
Website: www.dwp.gov.uk

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