Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announces £2.9 million to fund specialist employment and training services for people with sensory loss.
The £3.6 million JobSense project – supported by £1.8 million of EU funding and £1.1 million of Welsh Government funding – will work with 390 economically-inactive and long-term unemployed people with hearing or sight problems.
Each JobSense participant will have access to their own specialist caseworker to help them overcome barriers and towards employment – they will provide support ranging from overcoming transport challenges to raising awareness of the technology available to support sensory loss in the workplace.
Participants will also receive communication support from British Sign Language interpreters, lip speakers, palantypists (speech to text reporter), screen reading technology and advice about how to obtain grants from the UK government’s Access to Work fund.
The project will also work with employers to challenge stereotypes about sensory loss, identify suitable vacancies and inform employers about the support and technology available to people with sensory loss.
Professor Drakeford said:
“This funding will play a vital role in breaking down some the barriers people with a sensory loss face in entering work and helps to reduce the disability employment gap in Wales.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get a job. JobSense will help some of those furthest from the labour market enter the world of work and build rewarding careers.”
Rebecca Woolley, director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru said:
“There are almost 90,000 people of working age in Wales with some form of sensory loss and we know that being deaf, having hearing loss or being blind or partially sighted does not limit anyone’s capacity for excellence in the workplace.
“We are delighted to receive this funding. Not only will it ensure that people with a sensory loss are supported to achieve their full potential but employers in Wales will be empowered to confidently support them to thrive in the workplace.”