The Learning Disabilities Observatory has published a report giving insight into the lives of people with a learning disability in 2015. The The Learning Disabilities Observatory was set up in April 2010 to provide high quality data and information about the health and healthcare of people with learning disabilities. The report finds that the number of adults with learning disabilities in any paid/self employment has dropped from 9,905 people in 2011/12 to 7,430 people in 2014/15 (6% employment rate), with most people (71%) working less than 16 hours per week. 

A new two-year project to support people with learning disabilities and autism to find work has been launched by the government.

The project, backed by £280,000 of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investment, will include 4 new picture books to promote group discussions on finding and keeping a job. Beyond Words is a social enterprise which already produces unique books, services and training for people who find pictures easier to understand than words.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability has published its report on employment. The report, Ahead of the Arc, offers proposals to help halve the disability employment gap. The Inquiry was launched amid concerns that too much attention was being paid to reducing the benefits bill and not enough attention to helping disabled people participate in the labour market.

There's a range of tender opportunities has just been published by various local authorities. They can be found on the Due North procurement website.

Scotland's Employability Minister, Jamie Hepburn, has confirmed that the £14 million Work First Scotland programme, which will provide employment support for 3,300 disabled people, will be voluntary and will not use the threat of sanctions. 

People with disabilities still face discrimination, poverty and prejudice according to a wide-ranging new report from a coalition of Scottish charities, published by Disability Action Scotland. The report, 'Equal? Still Not, Why Not?' has gathered the views of over 80 people with a physical or learning disability, sight or hearing impairment and mental health problems.

BASE has been contracted to review the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Supported Employment. As part of this work, we are seeking the views of members and other stakeholders. The project must be completed by the end of March 2017 and we're looking for your views. You can find details of regional consultation meetings on our Events page and we will be consulting using Survey Monkey.

BASE held its 2016 national conference at the Manchester Conference Centre on 16-17 November and we received some fantastic feedback from attendees.

BASE presented its annual awards at the conference dinner on 16 November. There was strong competition this year, particularly for the Team and Practitioner Awards, and we would like to congratulate all the worthy winners.

The Department for Work and Pensions is launching an opportunity to work in collaboration with Jobcentre Plus to shape the support for disabled people and those with a health condition in partnership with the third sector. This was announced in Improving Lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper, which was published for consultation on 31 October.