Pluss have secured three Big Lottery Fund grants to deliver the Building Better Opportunities programme across South West England. Building Better Opportunities is a project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
The new programme, to be known locally as ‘Positive People’, will allow Pluss and its partners to maximise the impact of over £14 million in funding over three years to support people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, troubled families, and black, Asian and ethnic minority groups. The programme will focus on promoting social inclusion, and driving local jobs and growth.
The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Supported Employment will shortly be under review and BASE will be seeking your feedback on the draft revised standards.
In 2016 UKCES invited tenders for the delivery of services associated with occupational standards, apprenticeships and qualifications (S&F Childcare, Career and Community Development Tender Ref:2016-2017) across the UK. A consortium of sector bodies led by SkillsActive has been successful in its bid to deliver standards and frameworks to the sectors represented by the partner members until 31st March 2017. BASE is leading the review of the National Occupational Standards for Supported Employment.
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.
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.