Access Passport launched to help disabled grads into the workplace

07 Dec 2021

The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced a pilot scheme aimed at easing the move from university into work by reducing the necessity for frequent health assessments when starting a new job. The so-called ‘Access to Work Adjustments Passport’ is being offered to disabled students, with the initiative currently underway at Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan universities.

What does the passport entail?

Via the Access to Work passport, disabled students can obtain grants up to £62,900 to cover expenses of specialist equipment needed to support them to do their job. Students will be offered the passport who are already benefitting from additional support at university, obtaining information in regard to their disability, thereby sidestepping recurring questions on applying for the grant when they start their new job. It’s hoped that the passport will boost disabled grads’ confidence when it comes to speaking about their disabilities with potential employers. As it stands, as many as 100 students at each university will receive support through the pilot scheme, with thousands more set to benefit if it is introduced nationwide.

Praise for the scheme

Minister for Disabled People, Chloe Smith has stated that the initiative will be of great help to disabled students as they move into the world of work. “Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to thrive at work, starting from the moment they take their first steps on the career ladder. By working with University of Wolverhampton and Manchester Metropolitan University on this trial, we can find the best way for these new passports to support their students into employment.” She added: “Access to Work is a fantastic scheme offering financial support to those people that need extra help. Programmes like this, alongside Disability Confident and the over 100 commitments in our National Disability Strategy, will help us get one million more disabled people in work by 2027.” Moreover, plans are underway for trialling an Adjustment Passport for young disabled people on supported internships, apprenticeships or traineeships, with this second passport pilot predicted to be rolled out in March next year.