PeoplePlus have issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) form for organisations interested in partnering them as subcontractors on the IPES programme in Central England, North East England and Wales. It's a very tight turnaround as bids have to be submitted by 22 March. You'll find the EOI form attached.

The IPES programme is only open for bids from organisations on the Umbrella Framework. These are:

RNIB is sharing resources for employers looking to become Disability Confident. They are hosting a specialist thematic programme that will run from 19 - 29 March and focuses on support to people with a visual impairment.

The programme is designed to increase employers knowledge and understanding about recruiting, or retaining, blind or partially sighted people in the workplace. There is no cost to use the resources.

The programme includes:

Members should be aware that DWP has issued procurement information about the new Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) programme through the Umbrella Framework. The documentation went out last week and prime providers have a very tight deadline of 29 March to submit their bids. Members may want to approach potential bidders to discuss subcontracting opportunities.

A new plan has been launched to help support people with learning disabilities.

There are 26,349 people with learning disabilities in Scotland with only 7%  employed and 6.2% in further education.

The Keys to Life framework, launched by the Scottish Government and council umbrella body Cosla, sets out plans to inform more employers about available help, such as a job coach or supported employment.

It is being reported that Sarah Newton, Minister for Disabled People, has resigned from her ministerial role. She votied in favour of a Brexit motion originally put forward by Government.  

As part of the Learning Disability Employment Programme (LDEP),  the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) facilitated two webinars to help support NHS organisations to employ more people with a learning disability.

They have produced a webinar that provides practical support to those involved in recruiting and retaining people with a learning disability and/or autism.  View it to learn about supported employment, how to work in partnership with a provider, and what to expect. 

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is partnering with the Careers and Enterprise Company to recruit Enterprise Advisers for a national network that provides careers support within schools and colleges. CIPD says that the programme provides an opportunity for individuals to use their expertise to bring work to life and to shape the workplace of the future.

Stoke business leaders and organisations have formed a steering committee to get disabled youngsters into paid work. A local specialised college in Stoke on Trent, Strathmore College, is organising an Employer Open Day Forum to help employers understand the riches of employing people with a learning difficulty/

The south Leeds arm of the Community Led Local Development programme, South Leeds Together has up to £1.1 million of European Structural and Investment Fund monies to support economic development in the area through employment, skills and enterprise.

Following the release of the first and second calls in October and November the third call will be an open call running throughout 2019. It was launched on 25 February and will close on 17 December.

The North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT) is launching a new network of Manchester employers on Tuesday 26 March. The ManchesterAbility network is designed to promote ideas, share best practice and develop an active forum where disability issues can be discussed openly and honestly and where solutions can be found to common problems. The launch is taking place at KPMG in Manchester from 10am – 2pm and will include lunch.