A new service to help provide meaningful employment opportunities for people with a disability is set to be launched in Devon. The Disability Employment Hub is a collaboration between the Devon County Council, Learn Devon and Jobcentre Plus.

DWP is inviting providers to take part in a supplier survey about the Welfare to Employment Market. We urge members to complete the survey as we frequently hear complaints about how DWP procures services.

The Open University's new report,  'Access to Apprenticeships', has found that, while two thirds of employers consider hiring candidates with disabilities for entry-level roles is an important priority for them, many feel 'unequipped' to do so - with financial barriers and lack of training meaning they aren't able to offer the correct provisions for disabled workers.

The Goivernment has issued guidance to providers currently delivering ESF funded projects.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report into the support offered to pupoils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  The  report finds that children with special needs and disabilities are being marginalised by mainstream schools in England.

The NAO accuses the government of misjudging the financial impact of its changes to education, with rising numbers of pupils with special needs unable to be accommodated in mainstream schools following a combination of funding strains, off-rolling and exclusions.

The government has announced a review into support for children with special educational needs.

Five years on from reforms introduced to better support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the review aims to improve the services available to families who need support, equip staff in schools and colleges to respond effectively to their needs as well as ending the ‘postcode lottery’ they often face.

The review comes a week after the government announced an extra £700million in 2020/21 for pupils with the most complex needs. 

DWP has written to all local authority Chief Executives to ask their help in mapping Supported Employment provision across the country. The letter marks the next phase in designing a follow up to the Supported Employment proof of concept which finished last month. 

The letter contains a questionnaire asking for details of local provision and asking whether authorities would be interested in participating in future trials. We recommend that all providers contact their local authority Chief Executive to flag up the importance of the letter.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority working with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is procuring a new GM Working Well Specialist Employment Service. The service will comprise Supported Employment for people with a learning disability and people with autism (or both) and Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for people with severe mental illness.

The ESFA has published the guidance and cost form for exceptional learning support for the 2019 to 2020 funding year.

Providers and employers must complete the estimated cost of exceptional learning support at the beginning of a learner’s programme and submit the completed cost form by email to

DWP has published details of Access to Work statistics from 2007 to 2019. 32,010 people had applications for support approved in 2018-19 and inflation-adjusted spending has increased to exceed 2010 levels for the first time in 5 years. Total expenditure for 2018-19 was just over £129m.

Full details can be found on the DWP website.