August 2015

DWP has published Work Choice statistics for the quarter up to 30 June 2015. Outcome rates continue to improve with the latest cohort analysis for Quarter 1 in 2014-15 showing 54.2% achieving job outcomes. DWP says that for a six-month cohort of Work Choice programme starts between 1st July 2014 and 31st December 2014, there were 7,490 starts to Work Choice in this period. Of these, 4,290 (57.3%) had obtained a job outcome by 30th June 2015. Start rates have improved over the last 2 quarters, perhaps as a result of the new emphasis on cohort analysis.

The Monwel supported business in Ebbw Vale has gone into liquidation. The business makes road signs and was run as a social enterprise.The company ceased trading last month, with 38 people being made redundant. Liquidators said the company failed because of a deficit of £400,000, high employment costs and reduced sales.

Iain Duncan Smith is planning a shake-up of the rules on sickness benefit to encourage more people into work. The work and pensions secretary says that the current system is too "binary" - with claimants deemed either fit or unfit for work. Instead, claimants should be made to take up any work they can, even if it is just a few hours, he said.

Mr Duncan Smith insisted that the "most vulnerable people in our society" will be protected under his latest reforms.

Disability Rights UK has launched its I Can Make It campaign, a 3-year project funded by Comic Relief. The campaign aims to lower the gap in employment between disabled people and non-disabled people by using existing spending by businesses and local government to make new jobs. DRUK are looking for twelve young people with disabilities aged 18-25 and living in one of the following cities in England to volunteer on average one day per week throughout the duration of the project: Bristol Birmingham Hull Liverpool Leeds Leicester Newcastle Manchester Nottingham

DWP has issued revised guidance for claiming Access to Work funding for learners on Supported Internships. Changes include:
· the provision for a supported employment provider to make an application on behalf of an education provider (education providers can still make the claim if they would like to do so);
· a move from one form per month, to one per placement for each student; and
· the ability to make applications up to three months in advance.