The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are seeking views from providers who have an interest in subcontracted delivery to inform their thinking about reforms to subcontracting arrangements.

The Welsh Government has confirmed that it will not be continuing with the planned new Job Support Wales Programme. The programme was due to begin delivery in April and aimed to amalgamate the five Welsh Government Employability initiatives into a single tailored offer.

Following early pre-market engagement and surveys, DWP announded that they had reviewed the timeline for applications to join the Employment & Health Related Services Umbrella Agreement (EHRSUA) and would be issuing two separate Invitations to Tender (ItT); one tender in respect of Tier One and Tier Two and a further tender for Tier Three, at a later date.

Special needs schools and colleges are invited to apply for grants of between £15,000 and £75,000 through the Wolfson Foundation's Funding for Special Schools and Colleges grants programme. The funding is available for projects that are focused towards helping pupils to develop skills which would help them to gain employment or live independently after leaving school or college.  

The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson, has said that he wants to explore giving more autonomy to Jobcentre Plus work coaches so that they can allocate funding to commission local projects to help get people back into work. Speaking at a Westminster Business Forum event on disability in the workplace, he said that "we do need to look closely about moving away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach where people are sat round a circle and taught how to do a CV, and how to do their interview".

The Scotland Government has published an action plan for the future care and support of people living with neurological conditions.

The term ‘neurological conditions’ includes a wide range of conditions, disorders and syndromes affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

EASPD is inviting nominations for its Employment for All Award. Now in its 4th edition, the award aims to:

  • Promote strategies that facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities on the open labour market;
  • Provide them with equal opportunities to access gainful employment;
  • Enable them to gain a greater control over their independence in terms of employment and financial stability.

The award will select 10 promising practices to be published in its 2020 Employment for All Booklet before inviting 6 nominees to EASPD and LADAPT's “Employment of Persons with Disabilities: Road to Employment” Conference in Paris on 4th-5th May 2020, where they will be given the opportunity to present their system, model, scheme to over 250 conference participants. Two winners of the the Employment for All Award will be announced during the conference.

We need your help in reviewing the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) indicators. There is widespread disatisfaction with indicators 1E and 1F which caculate employment rates for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs respectively. BASE has raised the issue several times as we feel there is a lack of consistency in calculating the figures across local authorities, meaning it's difficult to benchmark performance across authorities. Now ADASS is taking a look at the indicators and we want to work with them to suggest suitable alternative definitions.

DWP has written to contractors to remind them of their responsibility to pay subcontractors promptly. BASE has met recently with DWP Commercial and has agreed an ongoing dialogue about commissioning and provider management issues.

UnLtd have spaces for 10 social ventures to help them scale up innovative techniques to help disabled people into employment by providing support, advice and 1:1 guidance. In total, they are looking for 24 game-changing social businesses who are improving access to employment for those who face significant struggles, such as disabled people, ex-offenders and homeless people. Some of these 24 places are reserved for organisations based in East London and others are for organisations working with other disadvantaged groups such as ex-offenders.