December 2008

Our supported business website has now gone live at www.base-uk.org/business. The site will replace the one previously hosted at www.supportedbusiness.org.uk. The site offers a listing of supported businesses and their products and offers an opportunity for businesses to showcase their products to procurement officers.

The consultation events organised by DWP on the proposals for the new disability employment programme have now all taken place. Minister for Disabled People, Jonathan Shaw MP, attended the event today and spoke to delegates at the round table discussions. DWP are to upload the slides from the events to their website at www.dwp.gov.uk/supplyingdwp/what_we_buy/notice_to_providers.asp.

DWP has issued a report that reviews evidence from the United States on providing return-to-work support for people with disabilities and discusses the implications for similar efforts in the UK. The report provides lessons for developing and evaluating future UK employment initiatives, especially for people with severe psychiatric conditions and long-term disability claimants. More...

Almost everyone on benefits should be preparing themselves for work, says a report commissioned by the government. Lone parents with children aged one to seven should sign an action plan to help them return to work, under plans drawn up by Professor Paul Gregg of Bristol University. The report recommends punitive action against those who do not cooperate, from losing benefits to having to undertake unpaid community work. The recommendations could be included in a Welfare Reform Bill, due to be in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday.

The first of a series of consultation events was held today in Dundee. It was one of the three that focus on supported business providers and contained presentations on both the design of the programme and the procurement process. Although the event included 90 minutes of table top discussion around a set of DWP design and procurement proposals it appeared that the major decisions have already been made. The event came across more as an information day with delegates lacking confidence that their feedback would influence the final outcome.