DWP Trailblazer letter sent to local authorities

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced the launch of the new Local Supported Employment (LSE) Initiative which will deliver live provision from October 2022 to March 2025 in approximately 20 Local Authorities (LA) across England and Wales. The aim of the grant funding is to help people with autism, learning difficulties or both into work using the Supported Employment model.

BASE has worked with DWP over the last 5 years to create funding for locally commissioned Supported Employment Services and this trailblazer follows on from a previous Proof of Concept that ran from 2017 to 2019. We welcome this launch and the additional funding which will now see the trailblazer carried out over a 2.5 year period.

The attached launch letter provides more detail on the background and aims for the grant. Also attached is a document that shows the average employment rate from 2014 to 2021 for Adult Social Care service users with a learning disability in each Local Authority in England.  2020-21 figures are available at www.base-uk.org/employment-rates

County Councils and Unitary Authorities participating in LSE need to be ready to deliver this scheme in the Autumn of 2022. LAs also need a period to set up and implement the new initiative. DWP hopes to provide more information later in March 2022 with a six-week period for LAs to submit their funding bid. DWP will assess the bids and notify the successful LAs in early June 2022. To help them work with you over the next few weeks, DWP asks:

  • all interested County Councils and Unitary Authorities should complete the attached Annex A by Friday 18 March 2022 at the latest. This Annex asks for a nominated single point of contact (SPOC).
  • that you or your nominated SPOC dial into a County Councils and Unitary Authorities all LA call on Wednesday 30 March 2022. The purpose of this call is to share more information and give you an opportunity to ask any questions about the Initiative. Please put this meeting in your diaries as soon as possible. Dial-in details are attached at Annex B

We urge local authorities to not be over-ambitious in estimating beneficiary numbers as funding is tied to the achievement of their profiled starts. 

Full documentation for the bid process will be sent in the coming weeks to local authorities that have expressed interest. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch with DWP at LAPED.SUPPORTEDEMPLOYMENT@DWP.GOV.UK and they will be happy to help.