October 2013

The Government has published a cross-Governemnt strategy for care leavers. The strategy sets out in one place the steps the government is taking - from housing to health services, from the justice system to educational institutions - to support care leavers to live independently once they have left their placement. This includes a section on employment which doesn't really say very much.

Shaw Trust, has published research that argues there is a strong case for retaining a specialist disability employment programme after 2015 along the lines of a refined Work Choice model.

DWP has announced the that the launch of the commercial competition for Community Work Placements. Starting from April 2014, Community Work Placements will be one of three intensive options that Jobcentre Plus advisers can consider for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants who return from the Work Programme, and will be for those claimants whose key barrier to employment is either insufficient recent work experience or a lack of motivation, or both. The other two options will be the Mandatory Intervention Regime which is currently operating in Jobcentre Plus, and daily signing.

BASE Scotland were honoured alongside the Scottish procurement community’s finest recently at the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards Scotland 2013/14, held at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on 22 October.

BASE Scotland were Highly Commended in the GO Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year Award. Alistair Kerr, Director & Chair of BASE Scotland, said of their achievement:

Pluss and Turning Point have entered into talks aimed at bringing the two organisations closer together to further their aims of ‘turning lives around’ and ‘inspiring people of all abilities to achieve a career’.

Discussions are on going between Pluss, their current Local Authority owners, and Turning Point on the potential transfer of ownership to Turning Point during 2014, subject to the successful completion of due-diligence.

DWP has published a report on its contracted employment programmes in response to requests from the Public Accounts Committee. It focuses mainly on the Work Programme. Much of the information contained in the report is already available but it draws together information on a variety of themes such as performance, fraud, provider assurance and the management of supply chains. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-report-on-contracted-empl...

BASE is seeking your views on a draft set of quality standards for the sector. The feedback that we've received suggests that supported employment practitioners would welcome a kitemark to demonstrate the quality of their support to jobseekers, employers and commissioners. We'd like to know what you think. Please read the draft standards at http://base-uk.org/quality-standards and complete our short survey.

Please contact us at admin@base-uk.org if you have any queries.

Devon based social enterprise, Pluss, is among seven organisations across the UK that are vying for a £18,000 prize in a nationwide Willy Wonka-style competition, organised by Worcestershire-based Supra UK, which is celebrating its 18th birthday.

To celebrate 18 years of sustained growth and employment, Supra UK offered seven randomly selected customers the chance to nominate a local community project to benefit from the cash investment; the winner will now be decided by an online vote.

Southdown Housing, a leading support service based in Lewes, has been named alongside the some of the largest global businesses in a list of the UK’s Top Employers for Working Families.

Southdown provides supported employment and specialist support services to 8,000 disabled and vulnerable people living in Sussex.

Employing more than 900 people in East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, Southdown features in a Top 10 list of the UK’s best employers that also includes American Express, Barclays, Ernst and Young and UBS.

The Government has announced a ministerial reshuffle. Minister for Disabled People, Esther McVey, is promoted to Minister of State for Employment, replacing Mark Hoban.

Mike Penning (pictured), MP for Hemel Hempstead, is to be the new Minister for Disabled People. The role has been made more senior with Mike Penning being appointed as a Minister of State.