We look forward to the publication later today of the Green Paper on disability, work and health. Most people who have a disability or health condition want to work. For many this is going to need flexible support from an employer and specialist assistance from support organisations. It needs reassurance and positive support, not a punitive approach. We know that there is to be a consultation on the future of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and a review of how fit notes are working. BASE welcomes this and will be responding to the Green Paper once we see the detail.

South Gloucestershire Council has a small amount of funding available to support employment and other social inclusion activities for people who have a learning disability. Bids for the £22,800 should be submitted before 30 November.

Cumbria County Council is looking to engage with providers to finalise procurement arrangements for independent Day Services and Supported Employment for Adults. The current Framework agreement for the provision of day services expires on 31st May 2017. Two supplier engagement sessions are planned: 9th November 2016 in Kendal and 10th November 2016 in Carlisle.

Education Minister, Justine Greening, has announced changes to the way apprenticeships will be funded from May 2017. The latest changes include:

BASE supports the general point made within the ERSA/WPI report, More than words-Rethinking employment support to disabled people that more resources need to be invested in providing appropriate specialist support to disabled people. The Government has set an ambitious target to halve the disability employment gap and this will require a comprehensive approach to support both the recruitment and retention of all people who have a disability and who aspire to work.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published an evaluation of the initial phase of the Troubled Families programme. It found a mixed picture in terms of what worked and what didn't but there was little evidence overall of a positive impact on families.

The European Union for Supported Employment (EUSE) has announced details of its 2016-17 Scholarship Programme. The programme has been established since 2008-09 and is sponsored this year by Prosegur Foundation.

Ingeus and Pluss have announced a joint initiative to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions into sustainable work. Both organisations will share their extensive experience of supporting customers and working with employers to open up job and career opportunities for all.

DWP has published further details about its Umbrella Agreement for the provision of Employment and Health Related Services (UAEHRS). Providers will have to be on this framework if they wish to bid as prime contractors for the Work and Health Programme as well as other DWP contracts.

DWP has started the process of creating a framework of providers for the new Work and Health Programme. Providers will need to register on this framework if they wish to be included in the mini competitions described by DWP in their circular last month.

The following note was issued yesterday: