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The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) was introduced in 2019 and through a collection of ten metrics, aims to improve the workplace and career experiences of Disabled staff working in clinical and non-clinical roles in the NHS. Since its inception, the WDES has been supported by advisory groups (technical and strategic), bringing together stakeholders with a range of expertise and views that have supported the development and implementation of the WDES and its metrics. Membership of the previous advisory groups was brought together in 2017 to form the WDES Steering Group (WSG). The WSG continues to meet on a quarterly basis to monitor progress, advise and receive updates.

The Steering Group are looking to recruit a WSG Independent Chair. They are seeking a high profile, dedicated and committed individual with a demonstrable track record in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion. An individual with lived experience of disability would be particularly welcomed. The Chair would be expected to lead the group effectively, seek assurance on the work of the WDES Implementation Team, provide strategic direction, and help promote the WDES across the health sector.

The Greater London Authority have announced that the £6m capital COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Support Fund (ERSF) application is now live. You can find out more and apply  here. This fund can cover items such as signage, sanitisation stations and barriers etc.

Please note that the application deadline is 4pm on Wednesday 12th of August. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Following the publication of the government’s Plan for Jobs which included a £111 million investment to triple the number of traineeships available, the ESFA are planning a procurement opportunity so providers can access funding to deliver 19 to 24 adult education budget (AEB) funded traineeships.

The government has published its intentions for a 10-year programme of change to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027. The DWP commissioning strategy sets out, through a series of high-level principles, how it will work with providers and partners to deliver high-performing welfare to work services which maximise outcomes for claimants and value for the taxpayer.

It is with great sadness that we heard that Mark Kilsby passed away this morning. We send our love and hugs to his partner, Julie Allan, who was with him when he died peacefully in a hospice in Cardiff. Mark had been ill for a few weeks and had spent some time in hospital.

Many organisations are seeking to get approved on DWP's Commercial Agreement for Employment and Health-Related Services (CAEHRS) and are seeking expressions of interest from potential supply chain partners. There are too many to list but they often advertise for partners through the Carley Consult website. 

We have received confirmation that DWP will continue to fund job coaches supporting interns on Supported Internships study programmes in England, Scotland and Wales. The situation will be reviewed in January 2021. We welcome this sensible decision which will ensure that job coaches will be able to be retained for when placements restart.

Big Issue Invest has come together with other organisations including The Key FundResonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd to deliver £18.7 million in grants, with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund launched today and is now open for applications until Monday, 20th July. The fund will provide essential financial support between £10,000 and £300,000 to help social enterprises during Covid-19. 

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to help boost the economy. These include employer incentives to take support traineeships and apprenticeships. Employers will receive £2,000 for taking on an apprentice and £1,000 for taking on a person on a traineeship. BASE has written to the Department for Education to ask whether similar incentives will apply to Supported Internships.

 

Leading post-16 providers that teach students with special educational needs and disabilities have been recognised for excellence in the sector at the inaugural awards of specialist further education organisation Natspec.

The pathways to employment award went to BASE member and Yorkshire provider Camphill Wakefield, for having an “aspirational” pathway into employment embedded into the curriculum, which included vocational profiling, job-matching, in-work support and careers guidance. Former principal of specialist provider Foxes Academy, Tracey Clare-Grey, who judged this category, awarded it to Camphill because “expectations of employment are embedded into learning” so“students are supported into employment”.

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