File photo dated 18/12/14 of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)office in London, who has pledged to ensure a smooth running of its benefits service during strike action this week.

A £4.2 million challenge fund has been raised to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work. This has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton, and Jackie Doyle-Price, the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities.

Sarah Newton .. Minister for Disabled People

Jackie Doyle-Smith .. Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities

The Government states that it is the latest in a range of measures that are part of a 10 year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

Ms. Newton, in commenting on this initiative said, “We know there is a gap between disabled people who want to work and those who have the opportunity to do so. With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to stay in or return to employment.”

She added, “This joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health and Social Care will fund projects that help people stay in work by:

Increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions

Helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing

Ms. Doyle said, “For too long if you had a disability or serious mental health issue the world of work was off limits, potentially affecting the lives of millions of people across the country. This fund will help people overcome the barriers that so many still face when trying to get into progress in the workplace.”