Please note that the workshop programme is subject to change. Delegates will be able to choose on the day which workshop to attend, subject to there being room available.


27 November: Session A

Workshop A1: How to create a successful careers programme in schools that leads on to employment

Presenter: James Whybra, Louisa McClure (The Castle School, Newbury)

We are a 3-19 Special School. We plan to take you on our journey over the past 5 years where we have moved away from the traditional approach to careers to a programme that has resulted in a huge increase in students leaving our school with paid employment. We will take you through the challenges we have faced, solutions we have come up with and mistakes we have made along the way. We will also talk about linking in to Supported Employment services and the key role they play in ongoing support.

We hope this workshop will be useful for:

  • Schools and Colleges
  • Supported employment services who are keen to work with schools and colleges
  • Local Authority representatives
  • Parents


Workshop A2: Vocational Profiling - back to basics

Presenter: Holly Kelleher (BASE)

Vocational Profiling is much more than a ‘form filling’ or an administrative exercise. A good Vocational Profile will give the Supported Employment practitioner a clear employment pathway for the job seeker, and simplify the job matching process. It will also provide invaluable information for the employer, giving the new employee the best possible chance at career progression.

This workshop will explore all the methods used for gathering information for the Vocational Profile, resources available to practitioners, and guidance on who to include in the process. 


Workshop A3: Employer Engagement - back to basics

Presenters: David Stenning, Mark Parrin (Kent Supported Employment)

This workshop offers a strategic and operational look at good practice regarding employer engagement. Looking at Kent Supported Employment’s “2 pronged” approach to employer engagement.  It will be an interactive session sharing ideas, looking at all types of employers including those based in rural and urban areas.  The workshop will look at creative ideas that truly engage employers and have them calling you!  We'll have plenty of practical ideas and case studies including cascading awareness and information to all employees in a company and keeping employers onboard.


Workshop A4: Employment support for mentally ill ex-offenders: how does IPS compare?

Presenters: Dr Graham Durcan (Centre for Mental Health); Jonathan Allan (Enable)

The Centre for Mental Health in conjunction with Enable, an IPS Centre of Excellence, and other partner organisations, developed and ran a 3-year project seeking to test out IPS (Individual Placement and Support) for mentally ill offenders on release from UK prisons. Traditional approaches to supporting this group into employment have had poor results and the workshop will describe the context and operation of the project plus the project evaluation.Workshop A5: Future Proofing the UK's Supported Businesses


Workdshop A5: Future Proofing the UK's Supported Businesses

Presenters: Melanie Walls (BASE), Avril Magee (Department for Work and Pensions)

This workshop will reflect on the past 12-months and what we have achieved by working collaboratively with the National Supported Business Steering Group, DWP and the UK's Supported Businesses.

We will look at the highlights from the past 12-months and our expectations for the year to come, including the work of 7 subgroups, collaborative working with Scottish Government, and the pro-active promotion of Supported Businesses with JobCentre Plus colleagues and other stakeholders.

The workshop will be practical and interactive; what do you feel will help the wider sector, including ‘other Social Enterprises’, to grow and develop over the next year and also the longer term as the EESG comes on line from 2021.


27 November: Session B

Workshop B1: Access to Work

Presenters: Debbie Bradford, Graham Beckwith (Department for Work and Pensions)

This workshop will explain how the Access to Work scheme can assist people with disabilities and health conditions overcome barriers they face in the workplace including those with the greatest needs. There will be the opportunity to ask questions to the Access to Work team.


Workshop B2: Becoming an ESFA Provider to deliver Supported Internships

Presenters: Matt Clifton, Helena Jennings (bemix)

Becoming an education provider is a huge opportunity and challenge! We’ll share the excitement and stresses of working so young people achieve in ways they and their families never thought possible, through Supported Internships under an education contract.

This workshop is for supported employment providers considering contracting with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver Supported Internships. Schools considering a separate legal entity for post-16 provision will also benefit.

We’ll share: 

  • Our experience of the ESFA’s due diligence process and how we are designing and developing best practice Supported Internships in partnership with the ESFA and our local authorities, including Section 41 Status under the Children and Families Act 2014. 
  • How we work with the high needs funding system and Access to Work to fund high quality provision, including understanding the challenges for cash flow and growth. We will also outline how providers need to work closely with their local authorities while also liaising directly with the ESFA.


Workshop B3: Creative Planning

Presenter: Ellen Atkinson (Preparing for Adulthood)

The workshop will explore how to support young people to think about wider outcomes beyond education.

  • Where they might live and who with.
  • What type of jobs they might do and how to get the right support.  

It will consider how we can encourage young people to think about achieving their aspirations and to be well prepared for adult life and share how effective planning can make a difference.


Workshop B4: Self Employment

Presenters: Robert Elston (Status Employment), Emma Shepherd (Croydon Council) Keith Bates (Mutually Inclusive Partnerships)

This workshop looks to explore the recent supported self employment academy that was set up in partnership between Croydon Council and Tree Shepherd and Status Employment.  It will address the practicalities, funding, ideologies and evaluation behind the process so that it can be set one up in other areas.  

The workshop will be looking at what worked well and what were the learning experiences from the pilot as the second academy is about to get underway. It will be looking at experiences from candidates and how their business are developing. What could help with the relationship between disabled entrepreneurs and the DWP. It will also open a discussion about what is needed from the entrepreneur facilitator. 


Workshop B5: Disability Confident - celebration, hope…and lots of jobs!

Presenter: Geraldine Scott-Smith (Pluss)

We’re sure you all know about Disability Confident. The scheme that replaced ‘Two Ticks’ a couple of years ago and has gained considerable momentum since then. There are three different levels and employers are encouraged to ‘sign up’ and commit to a range of actions. To Pluss, Disability Confident (or Diversity Confident as we now tend to call it) is also a lot more than this. 

To us (and probably to many of you), it is embedded into everything we do. It is about celebrating loudly the skills and talents that people from all walks of life bring to business. It is about winning employer hearts and minds. And it is about changing the way the world thinks when it comes to disability and employment. 

This session will explore how Pluss has chosen to use the Disability Confident campaign to engage with the outside world, particularly to convince employers to embrace diversity … and to employ lots more people! 

We will get the ball rolling with our experiences – how we approach the planning, engage employers, set events up and deliver them on the day, and use social marketing to maximise their impact - and then we’d love delegates to share their own great practice with each other.


28 November: Session C

Workshop C1: Local Supported Employment - the DWP Proof of Concept

Presenters: Phil Murray, Hugh Pullinger (DWP); Alicia Moyles (Kent County Council); James Holden (Cheshire West & Chester Council)

The Local Supported Employment proof of concept has been running in nine areas in England since November 2017. It is a partnership between DWP and local authorities to deliver supported employment opportunities to people with a learning disability, autism or severe mental health condition who are claiming Employment Support Allowance (or the Universal Credit equivalent). The proof of concept will run until May 2019.

Kent and Cheshire West & Chester local authorities will share their experiences of delivering the Local Supported Employment proof of concept in partnership with DWP.

This is an interactive session exploring what has worked well, and what has been learned to inform future DWP co-funded supported employment programmes.  


Workshop C2: Not just Supported Internships....

Presenters: Christina Earl, Nicky Harding (Surrey Choices)

Supported employment and education providers can be fantastic partners.  Currently everyone is talking about supported internships, but one size does not fit all, so how can we ensure all SEND young people are being equipped to start their careers?  This workshop will discuss the range of services, including supported internships, that supported employment services can offer to education providers including pupil referral units, special schools, colleges and mainstream schools.    What are the pitfalls, the barriers and how do we overcome them?


Workshop C3: Core values of Supported Employment - back to basics

Presenter: Liz Mellor (BASE)

This workshop will look at the 12 core values that underpin supported employment and how they can be used in our day to day practice, across the 5 stages of supported employment, to ensure best practice. 


Workshop C4: NAO Inquiry into DWP's Disability Strategy

Presenter: Tom Tyson, Chris Battersby (National Audit Office)

The National Audit Office is conducting an inquiry into the Department for Work and Pensions’ disability strategy. The inquiry is looking at the range of support available through DWP including the commissioning and management of employment programmes, proof of concept trials and other "test & learn" provision, the trial of IPS provision, the work of Jobcentre Plus and the Work & Health Unit.

This session will be a consultation exercise and is aimed at delegates who have experience of dealing with DWP and Jobcentre Plus through their work in supporting jobseekers who have a disability.
• Is DWP achieving its objective of getting more people with disabilities into work?
• Do each of DWP’s individual interventions work?
• Does DWP provide effective tailored packages of interventions to meet individual’s needs?
This is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the work of DWP and Jobcentre Plus and the consultation session gives delegates an opportunity to feed your experiences and suggestions into the national inquiry.


Workshop C5: The future of Supported Businesses - SEDEM (Social Enterprise Disability Employment Quality Mark)

Presenters: Lucy Findlay (Social Enterprise Mark CIC); Martin Davies (Chair of Supported Business Steering Group)

Supported Businesses have historically functioned under contractual specifications applied by DWP as commissioners of services. The end of Work Choice in March 2019 sees the start of a new era, with Supported Businesses being recognized by DWP as exemplar employers rather than simply contractual providers. A time for Supported Businesses to take control of their future. 

  • DWP have a clear vision as to what Supported Businesses as exemplar employers need to evidence in order to access the new Transitional Employment Support Grant (TESG) and the proposed EESG.
  • Supported Businesses need to establish a clearly defined model outside the contractual obligation of Work Choice.
  • Disabled people would benefit from a clear understanding of the support available within Supported Businesses as exemplar employers.

The Workshop aims at explaining how SEDEM will provide assurance on all 3 fronts. With SEDEM reaching the end of its development stage the Workshop is an opportunity for further testing and consultation on Principals, Criteria and administration.


28 November: Session D

Workshop D1: SEQF - improving quality within Supported Employment

Presenters: Kathy Melling (BASE)

This workshop will up-date delegates on the work BASE is doing in driving improvement and quality in the supported employment sector.  It will outline a toolkit that has been developed with European partners and how this is being used in the UK, which includes supporting the Proof of Concept supported employment pilots.

The workshop will also aim to gather feedback to further inform the work of BASE in driving improvement and quality in the sector as follows:

  • How the framework can be used to provide a fidelity audit for services and the perceived and actual benefits of doing this;
  • How the framework can be used in contracting with DWP and Prime providers and what needs to be influenced;
  • How the framework can be used in contracting in Health, Social Care and Education, and what needs to be influenced; and
  • Do providers value this potential kitemark and what is it worth?


Workshop D2: Overview of the DWP’s Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS)

Presenters: Kevin Keenan, Lindsay Maguire (Department for Work and Pensions)

Government departments are using Dynamic Purchasing systems more often as a vehicle to procure goods and services to deliver key strategic requirements. The DWP is no different and since this October now has two in operation. 

Using the same regulatory framework both are set up to deliver very different requirements. With one system to support Jobcentre Plus locally and the other to deliver test and learn initiatives in support of the government’s disability and health agenda. 

This session will provide an opportunity to understand how they are different and what this means for you as an organisation, why they different and critically what are the key requirements of the delivery.


Workshop D3: Inclusive Apprenticeships for people with a learning disability

Presenter: Jason Hardman, Mark Capper (Mencap)

This workshop aims to provide an overview of the work carried out so far by Mencap in setting up and delivering an apprenticeship programme for people with a learning disability.  The workshop will briefly explore the background and recent changes to legislation that have enabled more people with a learning disability to access apprenticeships and also look at the practical steps taken to recruit an initial group of 20 apprentices, working in a range of settings across Mencap. The workshop will also explore some of the plans Mencap has to further develop apprenticeships both internally and externally.  

The workshop will aim to give a comprehensive overview of the lessons learnt so far and help to show other interested organisations how to engage in this agenda either from an employer or provider perspective.  The workshop will also identify how Mencap plan to propose further flexibilities in order to increase the overall accessibility of apprenticeships based on learning and insight gained so far. Setting up and delivering this programme has not been without its challenges so these will be discussed and time given for questions to explore any key areas in more detail that people may have. 


Workshop D4: Turning EHCP's into Employment Health & Care Plans

Presenters: Mrunal Sisodia, Lara Roberts (National Network of Parent Carer Forums)

This workshop will explore how to support young people with special needs into employment through an outcome focus and personalisation. The workshop will cover the following areas:

  • An overview of what the Children and Families Act says about Education and Employment
  • A review of a real-life case study to explore how a person-centered approach would have been helpful
  • A chance to reflect on and share practices in your local area and setting (what you find works and what doesn’t)

We will discuss how to co-produce effectively with families and how to overcome the barriers that families face making this transition.


Workshop D5: Universal Credit and welfare benefits

Presenter: Corin Hammersley (London Borough of Greenwich)

Universal Credit is the government’s flagship welfare reform, and demonstrates the biggest change in the welfare system in 60 years. For working age people making a new means-tested benefit claim, it is very likely they will need to claim Universal Credit. This new benefit is very different to the current system however; it is calculated and paid monthly, and the claim is made and maintained online. Universal Credit has been designed to encourage work and create increase work incentives, however some of the features of this benefit may be more challenging for people with additional or complex needs. Whilst some people will be better off, a significant number will be worse off and may not be entitled to transitional protection.

This session will explain what Universal Credit is and its key features, who will be affected and when, and how to avoid common problems.