April 2022

The Out of Work Service and In-Work Support Service, which are helping Welsh people to rebuild their lives, will be extended until 2025.

The Out of Work Service helps the most vulnerable and those "furthest away from the labour market". It is specifically focused on providing long term support to people recovering from mental health or substance misuse issues. The service provides support through a national network of peer mentors – people who have themselves recovered from issues such as mental ill-health or substance misuse. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced the launch of the grant application process for the Local Supported Employment (LSE) Initiative, which allows County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England and Wales to apply for grant funding. Funding amounting up to £7.2 million is being made available to approximately 20 local authorities (LAs) to enable the growth of LA-led Supported Employment over 2.5 years.

BASE welcomes this confirmation of the LSE initiative The level of funding per participant isn't what we would have wished for at £3500 but we look forward to working with DWP on implementation of the scheme. We are available to provide model fidelity audits as required within the tender - please contact us for details.

DWP have attached the following documents to support this process:

  • The Grant Application Launch Letter - outlines next steps for LAs and key dates for both the All LA MS Teams Call and the deadline date for your Grant Application.
  • The Local Supported Employment Initiative Local Authority Guidance – provides a detailed guide for the entirety of the Initiative including relevant appendices:
    • Appendix A - The Grant Application Instructions – provides a guide on completion of the application and the scoring process
    • Appendix B – The Grant Application Template
    • Appendix C – Profile Template
    • Appendix D – MI Template
  • The draft Local Supported Employment Grant Funding Letter and Grant Funding Agreement
  • Data showing the average employment rate for Adult Social Care service users with a learning disability in each Local Authority in England

We're delighted to share that Laura Davis has this week, started her role as the new Chief Executive of the British Association of Supported Employment. Laura will be well known to our members as she acted as chair of BASE between 2016 and 2018.  She has extensive experience of the Supported Employment sector, having managed Ways into Work from 2005 and taking it out of the local authority as a community interest company in 2015.

DfE has published details of its Investment in Supported Internships Programme support contract. The contract is split into 2 lots: one to strengthen delivery of the Supported Internship programme and one to deliver job coach training. Bids are invited before 13 May and must be submitted through the Jaggaer e-procurement portal.

The DfE wants to build the capacity of the SI programme and are aiming to double the number of SIs from c.2,250 internship enrolments per annum to c.4,500 per annum by 2025.

 

The Supported Internship Quality Framework has been published. It was developed for the Department for Education by the Education and Training Foundation and their centres of excellence. The framework has been developed over the last 6 months and aims to improve the quality of Supported Internships (SIs) provision and outcomes. BASE has fed into discussions and we have asked for a review of the framework in 12 months.

The National Minimum Wage rose on 1st April as follows:

  • Age 23 or over: £9.50
  • Age 21-22: £9.18
  • Age 18-20: £6.83
  • Under 18: £4.81
  • Apprentice: £4.81

You're entitled to the apprentice rate if you're an apprentice aged:

  • under 19
  • 19 or over, and in the first year of your current apprenticeship agreement

If you're 19 or over and have completed the first year of your current apprenticeship, you're entitled to the minimum wage for your age.

DWP has published statistics for the Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) programme following a Freedom of Information request from BASE. The statistics have not been publically available until now despite IPES starting delivery in late 2019.

The data shows that there have been a total of 6044 programme starts since December 2019. 1071 lower threshold outcomes have been achieved so far resulting in 787 higher threshold outcomes.