2023 Budget Announcement- BASE response

In the Chancellor’s Spring Budget today,  a number of measures to support people into work were announced including: 

  • A new voluntary employment scheme for disabled people and those with health conditions called Universal Support in England and Wales. The government will spend up to £4,000 per person to find them a suitable role and cater to their needs, supporting 50,000 places per year once fully rolled out.
  • A new ‘Returnerships’ apprenticeship targeted at the over 50s which will refine existing skills programmes to make them more accessible to older workers, giving them the skills and support they need to find a recognisable path back into work.
  • Investment of up to £3 million to pilot an expansion of the Supported Internship model to include those children and young people without education, health, and care plans (EHCPs). 

Laura Davies, BASE CEO has responded to the announcements with the following statement.

BASE welcomes the overall sentiment contained in the Chancellor’s Spring budget announced today, regarding the right support for disabled, neurodivergent people and those with long term health conditions, into employment.

We’re pleased to see that further investment is planned for IPS and Supported Internships as both programmes have the evidence-based Supported Employment model at the heart of delivery but disappointed that the place, train & maintain model wasn’t explicitly mentioned. However, we remain hopeful that the model will provide a framework,  value base and foundations to build on.

Our members already match individuals who want to work with existing job vacancies, and ensure they are supported to enter and stay in work as part of the Supported Employment model, so we’re pleased that the Government has recognised the success of this approach with it’s new Universal Support programme in England and Wales.

We look forward to working with DWP colleagues to embed the ethos of matching the right talent, to the right roles, with the right support, into the programme, so that everyone has the chance of a fulfilling working life. We know that employers are keen to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and are hopeful that the Universal Support programme will establish Employers as equal partners and ensure that good quality job matches increase disability confidence in action. The challenges of Access to work, which employers have told us can be a barrier to employing disabled people, remain an area of concern, that needs further exploration as part of the detail.

Finally, we hope the changes to the work-based capability assessments provide genuine security to give disabled people and their families, the confidence and assurance needed to consider entering the labour market.

HM Treasury press notice

Spring Budget Statement

More Information about Supported Internships

Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper