Local Supported Employment Initiative
The Local Supported Employment Initiative programme is designed to help disabled and autistic adults move into and stay in work. This is a programme funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Local Authority, Surrey County Council, for Supported Employment to those who face barriers into employment. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has engaged with 23 Local Authorities across England and Wales to deliver Supported Employment to those who would not normally be able to access this kind of service; this could be because they don’t meet the criteria laid out in the Care Act to access services. The programme is available to anyone who has a Learning Disability, Autism, or both. They need to be over 18 and known the the Local Authority, as well as not being in Full time Education or Employment.
This programme allows us to offer our service to those who would not normally be able to access our programmes and gain the support they need to achieve employment. The programme itself is for three years and will look to support 100 individuals. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have set a 30% success rate for those individuals to achieve paid employment by the end of the three years. As part of the programme we follow the Supported Employment Framework to engage not only with these individuals, but to offer an alternative recruitment process to Employers that will help them to identify candidates they may never have considered for the roles they offer and benefit from a system of support around them which is cost effective and can help them meet a lot of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Equality Diversity and Inclusion.
The programme caters for any individual living in Surrey, who is known to the Local Authority and has either Autism or a Learning Disability or both. They must be actively seeking employment but do not need to be in receipt of any benefits. They cannot be in full time education or employment and must be 18 years old or over.
The Local Supported Employment Initiative programme has been up and running since August 2022. We saw our first four customers join in November and are now identifying eight customers a month to access the programme. These customers are supported by 3-4 Employment Support Specialists across Surrey to find meaningful employment in a person-centred approach. We saw our first paid role achieved in February and a second in March, with other customers also achieving interviews already! We are confident in the success of this programme and feel it will be well received in the local community as well as the wider business community.
If you, or someone you know, would like more information about Surrey Choices’ Local Supported Employment, you can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01483 806806.