February 2014

BASE has written to DWP to express some concerns regarding the new Health and Work Service. The statement reads:

Health and Work Service
DWP has now published the ITT for a new Health and Work Service to begin in late 2014. This is intended to provide occupational health advice and support for employees, employers and GPs to help people with a health condition to stay in or return to work.

Warwickshire County Council’s WEST (Warwickshire Employment Support Team) and Coventry City Council’s TESS (The Employment Support Service) team have won the European Social Fund (ESF) Equal Opportunities Specialist Project Award 2013. The teams received the award for the work they have done to increase and improve resources to help disabled people find work. Recognising a lack of support, the teams developed a new approach to attract employers and help adults with disabilities get employment.

Local store manager with a refreshingly positive attitude to workers with learning disabilities has won an award from Somerset County Council.

Phil Trivett of the Southern Co-op in Cotford St Luke, has been awarded the Employer of Choice Award from the County Council’s Aspire Support for Work service.

Following the trial and evaluation of supported internships, the Department for Education (DfE) has asked CooperGibson Research to update the guidance for colleges, schools, local authorities and others interested in delivering supported internships. The deadline for the informal consultation is Friday 28th February. The initial draft guidance document is attached. Please note, that as this is only a draft and the content is not yet agreed the guidance should not be used for any purpose other than the informal consultation at this point.

‘Future Factor’ is an innovative employment –focused programme which provides real work experience and transferable skills for adults with learning disabilities. It’s the result of a collaborative approach to securing paid employment for jobseekers between the Support into Employment team and the Adult Education Service at Norfolk County Council.

According to the BBC, IT company Atos has confirmed it is seeking to end its government contract to undertake work capability assessments. In a statement, Atos pledged to carry on undertaking the tests until a new company was in a position to take over.

The contract is due to expire in August 2015 but there has been growing pressure to review the contract. There were nationwide protests outside Atos Healthcare assessment centres on 19 February.

BASE has responded to the Government's discussion paper on the disability employment strategy (DES) published in December 2013.

DWP has published the latest Work Choice statistics. They cover all providers except Remploy for the period up to, and including, December 2013. In the current financial year (1st April 2013 – 31st December 2013) there were: * 19,810 referrals for 18,470 individuals * 14,510 starts for 14,200 individuals * 8,170 job outcomes for 8,060 individuals

Luton are seeking a provider to deliver vocational training and employment services. Funding will be provided by London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) and monitored by Luton Borough Council. The donation is only available to organisations who have charitable status or who are registered as a charity in accordance with the HMRC. Please find attached a series of documents that will support your organisations application. * A pdf document containing: - Expression of Interest – outlining information from LLAL - Outcome Specification - Current Provision - New Horizons Profile

The Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report into mental health and work in the UK as part of a wider European project. The report, Mental Health and Work: The United Kingdom says that around one million claimants on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and as many on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and other working-age benefits, have a mental disorder such as anxiety and depression that is hurting their prospects of finding work.