August 2020

The Economic Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into employment and COVID-19 and invites written contributions to its investigation. They will examine the effects of the pandemic on the labour market and consider what urgent measures should be taken to protect and create jobs. Also how the labour market may change as a result of the pandemic in the longer term. The Committee intends to make recommendations to the Government. The deadline for submissions is 10 September 2020.

DWP has been holding market engagement events about two new proposed programmes and slides/notes are attached below for each of them.

DWP has announced future changes to the way that Access to Work applications will be handled for Supported Internships and Traineeships. We expect the changes to come into force in early September and DWP have asked that applications are not submitted before then. BASE is working alongside the Department for Education and a group of providers to advise DWP on the proposed changes. We will be posting updates when we can but DWP has released the following text:

The Solent Supporting Employment programme is offering grants for organisations in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area with a proven record in employability to deliver new and innovative projects.

£300,000 is available for organisations in Portsmouth for projects which must focus on getting people closer to, or into, employment and be aimed at those from BAME communities, people with disabilities, long-term unemployed and/or individuals marginalised by factors such as mental health issues, age and homelessness.

Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils are looking to appoint a suitable and experienced provider to establish a pilot training programme for independent travel for special education needs and disabled (SEND) young people.

The pilot aims to instil confidence in young people to use different modes of transport without the aid of travel assistance, reducing costs and giving true independence to young people to make their way in the world.

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) was introduced in 2019 and through a collection of ten metrics, aims to improve the workplace and career experiences of Disabled staff working in clinical and non-clinical roles in the NHS. Since its inception, the WDES has been supported by advisory groups (technical and strategic), bringing together stakeholders with a range of expertise and views that have supported the development and implementation of the WDES and its metrics. Membership of the previous advisory groups was brought together in 2017 to form the WDES Steering Group (WSG). The WSG continues to meet on a quarterly basis to monitor progress, advise and receive updates.

The Steering Group are looking to recruit a WSG Independent Chair. They are seeking a high profile, dedicated and committed individual with a demonstrable track record in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion. An individual with lived experience of disability would be particularly welcomed. The Chair would be expected to lead the group effectively, seek assurance on the work of the WDES Implementation Team, provide strategic direction, and help promote the WDES across the health sector.

The Greater London Authority have announced that the £6m capital COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Support Fund (ERSF) application is now live. You can find out more and apply  here. This fund can cover items such as signage, sanitisation stations and barriers etc.

Please note that the application deadline is 4pm on Wednesday 12th of August. Applications received after this time will not be considered.