September 2018

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the government response to its report on Assistive Technology

Before the inquiry concluded, the Government announced a major positive change in dropping the planned cap on Access to Work payments, and has since announced a new Tech Fund that means employers do not have to contribute to the costs of acquiring AT to adapt the workplace - removing a big potential barrier. 

Jobcentre Plus would like to work with partners to improve the employment prospects of individuals facing complex barriers in Somerset and North Somerset. They are looking for imaginative and innovative proposals from organisations to support individuals with mental health barriers to employment.

This opportunity will be administered by Jobcentre Plus through grant funding. The funding available for this is up to a maximum of £99,000 and will be awarded to a lead accountable body (LAB). A LAB must be a legal entity with auditable accounts.

Government is issuing  a series of EU technical notices that aim to allow organisations to prepare for all scenarios including not having a deal with the EU when the UK leaves in March 2019.
Guidance has been published about the European Social Fund. It discusses how organisations receiving European Social Fund (ESF) grants would be affected if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

Clarion Futures, part of the Clarion Housing Group, has funding available to help organisations to replicate an approach to embedding Digital Champions into employment programmes in order to address the essential digital skill needs of clients. Clarion Futures has developed a benchmark screening tool for organisations to use, and to be developed further through the partnerships formed. The funding partnership is also highly collaborative as organisations in receipt of grant funding work together to solve problems and discuss the challenges and impact of this work.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a prior information notice (PIN) regarding the new dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for Employment & Health Test and Learn.

This DPS will present opportunities for organisation, with a focus on innovation and local specialist support, to be involved and test the development of new approaches for employment and health related activity. This will be key to building evidence to support the delivery of future provision at both national and local level.