4500 16-25 year olds with special educational needs and disabilities in England are set to benefit from a new, life changing, supported internships programme per year by 2025.

The Department for Education funded programme is designed to support more young people with additional needs to have greater choice and control over opportunities that prepare them for adult life and enable them to gain long-term meaningful employment. Currently, only 5.1% of people with special educational needs and disabilities gain permanent paid employment in the UK, compared to 80% of their peers.

A new £7.6 million government initiative has been launched to help over 2,000 adults with learning disabilities and autism move into work.

The Local Supported Employment (LSE) initiative is providing grant funding to 24 local authorities in England and Wales, representing an investment of £7.6 million over the next three years.

Each local authority area will support between 60 and 140 adults with learning disabilities, autism or both to move into competitive employment and provide the help they need to maintain that employment.

An average of 91 participants in each local authority are set to benefit from the grant funding and support, which will include assigning job coaches who can carry out vocation profiling, engage employers and provide in-work support to help develop more careers. A total of 22 local authorities in England and two in Wales will benefit from the funding worth £7.6m over the Spending Review period.

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s Plan for Jobs and other initiatives - both those introduced since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and wider schemes - aimed at helping people find and stay in work.

With the current economic climate, good news is often in short supply, which is why we're delighted to share this Supported Business success story from Alistair Kerr, the BASE Scotland Chair. It's a fantastic evidenced based example of collaboration between Scottish Government Procurement, Scottish Prison Service Procurement, a Tier1 Construction Company & BASE Scotland Network, that cuts across a number of Scottish Government Policy intents supporting people living with disabilities or who are disadvantaged is some unique way to achieve individual goals and ambitions.

Our Bury office is now closing and a new office is up and running in Aldershot. You can also find our new details at


New office address

Room 58, Aldershot Enterprise Centre
Louise Maragret Road
Hampshire GU11 2PW

Tel. 01252 912829

Email addresses remain unaffected and you can reach us at

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.