The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have launched an expression of interest exercise for local authorities to jointly deliver a Local Supported Employment proof of concept.  Expressions of interest should be submitted by 27 March 2017.  

The Learning and Work Institute are running two workshops in March 2017 to bring together those delivering support for people with LDD, those delivering apprenticeships and supported internships, and policy-makers. They want to share best practice and practical solutions and focus on how the sector as a whole can further support implementation and ensure everyone fully benefits from the Maynard recommendations. 

The London Borough of Barnet has placed the following notice at

They are initially seeking to complie a list of approved providers before going to tender. The tender may be split into more than one lot and seeks providers to deliver employment retention support as well as recruitment services across a range of disability customer groups.

BASE has submitted a written response with a number of recommendations to the Improving Lives green paper. Our response was formulated following discussions with members.

The full document runs to 19 pages but we have summarised our main recommendations below:

The Work and Pensions Committee has published its report about the Disability Employment Gap. The report recommends a greater focus on retention, better use of specialists, and again calls for a senior disability work coach role to be reintroduced. It suggests that employers who recruit people with disabilities could receive National Insurance incentives.

London and Greater Manchester have both announced market engagement events for providers prior to procurement of the Work and Health Programme. It has been confirmed that Greater Manchester will contain a single contract package area. London will have four contract package areas. Providers who are interested in bidding do not have to be listed on the Umbrella Agreement for Employment and Health Related Services (UAEHRS).

The City of Wolverhampton Council is looking to procure an Individual Placement Support (IPS) good or outstanding fidelity rated provider to deliver a 12 month IPS programme in Wolverhampton. The programme will receive its funding of £60,000 from the DWP, ESF and YEI and the Council. The aim of the programme is to develop evidence of the effectiveness of the IPS model in delivering employment outcomes to people with mental health needs.

The deadline to submit applications to the Employment for All awards 2017 has been extended until 6th February. The Employment for All Award, hosted by EASPD and EUSE, is given to Social Services/ Support Providers and Businesses or Employers who have designed and implemented effective systems for employment of people with disabilities.

DWP has released more details about Greater Manchester and London's devolved powers to procure and deliver the Work and Health Programme. The two cities will receive funds to develop, procure and deliver localised versions of the new Work and Health Programme to fit the needs of their residents. The Work and Health Programme is expected to start from late 2017 in England and Wales.

Following the publication of the Select Committee's 2nd Report into the Future of Jobcentre Plus the Government has responded to Committee's recommendations.