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”.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the results of a consultation into sub-contracting for learners over 16 years of age

Subcontracting education and training for learners over 16 is common. DfE wanted to review how they oversee the practice to:

In response to the pandemic, Social and Community Capital have launched a £1 million Coronavirus Response Fund which is offering unrestricted grants to between £5,000 – £50,000 to organisations across the UK that employ people from vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.

The aim of the fund is to help organisations survive the crisis and continue to have a positive impact in their communities. The fund is open to a range of organisations including registered charities, community interest companies and unincorporated associations.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships has launched a call for evidence as part of its 2019/20 report.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the UK’s economy and the APPG is looking to explore how the sector has responded and what further work is required to improve apprenticeships policy for the future.   The APPG’s call for evidence will look at what steps need to be taken to ensure that apprenticeships play a prominent role in the UK’s long-term economic recovery.