Swindon Borough Council's Supported Employment Strategy, which has been approved by the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, aims to double the percentage of adults with a learning difficulty in paid employment form 5.6 per cent this year to 10 per cent by March 2022.

And it wants a significant increase of those leaving the council’s care in paid work, from 64 per cent this year to three-quarters in the next three and a half years.

DWP has confirmed that up to 180,000 benefit claimants have been underpaid and are due refunds. It is estimated that the average refund will be £5,000 but may be more for some individuals.

The DWP said that the backdated payments totalled £970m. It now also faced a larger bill for ongoing ESA awards, costing the department more than £700m extra until 2024-25, bringing the total cost to £1.67bn.

Frank Field, who chairs the Commons Work and Pensions Committee, said:

London Borough of Waltham Forest is looking to developing a diverse market that supports adults with adults with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible and to play full and active roles in their local communities in line with their Think Family and Creating Futures programmes. 

The local authority wants to commission services based on the following key principles;

The Royal Borough of Kingston is considering the commissioning options for a Supported Employment Service for Adult Social Care clients aged between 18-64, including;

  • Learning Disabilities (LD)
  • Homelessness
  • Drug and Alcohol misuse
  • Mental Health
  • LD Children and Young People in Transition

The Council would like to understand from key providers how these requirements might best be met and is therefore carrying out a soft market testing exercise to engage in early informal dialogue prior to any formal commissioning taking place.

DWP Secretary of State, Esther McVey, has written to Frank Field, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, to answer his questions about the sale of Remploy in 2015.

Frank Field had asked the following questions:

The UK Independent Mechanism (UKIM) has published its update report to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report gives an update on the steps taken by the UK governments to act on 

Employers and employees asked to help shape Greater Manchester’s Good Employment Charter

Greater Manchester’s Leaders are calling on employers, employees and others to give their views and help shape the country’s first ground breaking city-region Good Employment Charter. 

The Education Committere has published a report on the quality of apprenticeships and skills training. According to the committee, too many apprentices are not getting the high-quality training they deserve and too many people, particularly the disadvantaged, are not being given the support they need to pursue an apprenticeship and get on in life.

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the government response to its report on Assistive Technology

Before the inquiry concluded, the Government announced a major positive change in dropping the planned cap on Access to Work payments, and has since announced a new Tech Fund that means employers do not have to contribute to the costs of acquiring AT to adapt the workplace - removing a big potential barrier.