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Extra employment help for carers

07 December 2009
Carers UK has welcomed new support for carers from the Department of Work and Pensions, aimed at supporting carers to combine paid work with caring.

Thousands of carers may be able to benefit from improved employment support from today, giving them the chance to combine paid work with caring and help reduce financial hardship.

The extra support includes:

- Ensuring carers have access to appropriate employment programmes - including one-to-one work focused support for carers

- Funding for replacement care for participation in approved activities

- A Care Partnership Manager in every Jobcentre Plus district

- Specialist training for advisers who work with carers

Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said: "Many carers really want to work, but find it hard to get the support or flexible work they need, to combine it with caring for relatives.

"We know that one in five carers have left or turned down a job because of their caring responsibilities. That is why it's so important to give carers extra help, advice, funding for replacement or respite care and easier access to training too."

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: "With three in five people caring for an ill or disabled relative at some point in their lives, how to juggle work and care is something we may all need to think about at some point. Replacement care to allow access to training and support, and staff with the expertise to help with the real challenges that face those trying to juggle work and care, are big steps towards giving carers new opportunities to stay in or return to work."

Notes:

1) Care Partnership Managers have now been introduced in every Jobcentre Plus district to build partnerships with relevant organisations, assess demand for support and encourage development of local services such as replacement care. They will ensure advisers have comprehensive up-to-date knowledge, skills and local information to effectively support carers.

2) Adviser training will be enhanced with carer specific learning to improve advisers' knowledge of issues faced by carers and their ability to help carers overcome challenges that prevent them from combining caring responsibilities with paid employment.

3) Carers not in full time paid employment, who are not already eligible for an employment programme and who want help to improve their employment prospects will have access to a package of support including help from a dedicated personal adviser, referral to suitable work preparation and vocational training.

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