DWP has published a cost/benefit analysis of the work experience scheme which was introduced in 2011 to help young unemployed people get work-based skills through a 2–8 week placement with a local employer. The key findings from this analysis are as follows: • This study provides additional evidence that taking part in work experience reduces the time 19–24-year-old JSA claimants spend on benefit and increases the time they spend in employment.
The Scottish Government has outlined new arrangements for 2017/18 to support vulnerable groups and the long term unemployed, including those with disabilities and health conditions, towards employment.
The Government made a number of announcements around disability in the 2016 Budget.
The government is to offer new peer and specialist support for people with mental health conditions and for young disabled people. Later this year, the government will publish a White Paper focusing on the roles that the health, care and welfare sectors can play in supporting disabled people and those with health conditions to get into and stay in work.
Ofsted and CQC have published a report on the outcomes of its consultation on local area SEN inspections. This report summarises the responses to the formal consultation about the inspection arrangements to test how effectively local areas fulfil their responsibilities to children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The inspections are due to begin in May 2016. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/local-area-send-consultation
The Disability Benefits Consortium, a coalition of 60 national disability charities, has condemned the government’s cuts to benefits as a “step backwards” for disabled people and their families.
It said the cuts, which will see people lose up to £1,500 a year, will leave disabled people feeling betrayed by the government and will have a damaging effect on their health, finances and ability to find work.
The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the future of Jobcentre Plus (JCP).
A number of important changes will affect the services offered by JCP over the next few years, including:
* The full implementation of Universal Credit (UC), which, particularly once a fully-functioning digital service is developed, will be a largely online process and have implications for digital inclusion
* More frequent interviews at the Jobcentre for unemployed claimants in the early stages of benefit claims
This project aims to procure an accredited ‘Individual Placement and Support Provider’ (IPS) to deliver a 24 month trial This trial forms part of the Health and Work Programme in Islington.
The trial is seeking to test the effectiveness of the IPS model when applied in a primary and community care setting for people who are unemployed due to a health condition and/ or disability. The service provider will be expected to work with people with a range of health conditions (both physical and mental health conditions) and / or disabilities in a range of healthcare settings.
A £10m project has been launched in Wales to help 1,000 young people with learning disabilities and or autism conditions into employment. The five-year Engage to Change project will work with 800 employers to offer paid work placements lasting between six months and a year.
Learning Disability Wales will lead the consortium of organisations who will deliver the Engage to Change project from April 2016 to include
Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud has proposed that Employment Support Allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) will be able to do higher limit permitted work for an unlimited period, instead of stopping after 52 weeks.
Speaking in the House of Lords during a debate on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, Lord Freud said: