Quarter 2 - September 2018
There are a number of initiatives underway which we think will lead to more people with learning disabilities getting paid work. Some of these initiatives are new and so the impact may become apparent at a later date.
  • Supported Internships – a number of education providers are developing new placements and by September 2019 the number of placements available will have increased from 12 to more than 30.
  • In July the Council employed two Job Brokers working with those not in education, employment or training who are having the most difficulty moving into employment and will most likely have a Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND).
  • Two Learning Disability day services in January 2019 will start new work programmes supporting service users to move on from day services into voluntary or paid work.
  • During National Careers Week (4th-8th March 2019) a programme of events is planned with our schools targeting young people with SEND to raise aspirations and awareness of information and support to prepare for employment.
Quarter 1 - June 2018
There has been an increase of 1% in this annual figure. This is due largely to proactive checking of the employment status of those people known to adult social care living in the community. Consequently we have a better baseline to build upon and there is further scope to check the employment status of those that did not respond to the survey.

Quarter 4 - March 2018 performance

During the quarter work has continued to obtain a more accurate baseline. This has included conducting a postal and telephone survey to update employment status of people known to social care. We have updated records of those people known to be in work from the previous year to see if they are still in paid employment. We have identified new people in paid work.

A project called Business Buddies operates out of Manor Green College, Crawley. This project is a good example of how the council has funded a new approach to supporting young people with complex needs who are unlikely to achieve paid employment without targeted help and work preparation. The project has a skilled and experienced employment Mentor who has developed an ‘Employment Passport’ with each young person, understanding their work aspirations, skills and qualities and the extent of support available to them in their wider network. A plan is created to understand what more needs to be done to maximise chances of paid employment in the future and they work closely with the teaching staff and local FE College to do targeted learning and training. The project has also changed the ways students show their qualities to perspective employers for example, through using CV postcards, using CV videos and has recruited Employers who have buddied up with the college, attended business breakfasts, Inspirational days and one business leader is now on the Board of Governors. A number of students have gone on to part-time employment and others have gone on to do further training at Crawley and Brinsbury College which has then led to employment.

Quarter 3 - December 2017 performance

The SEND Pathways to Adulthood Strategy describes how the Council, with its partners, are implementing the SEND Reforms in response to the Children’s and Families Act 2014. This strategy has 10 initiatives aimed at enabling, empowering or supporting young people into more learning, training or employment opportunities. Through the Life Long Service Transformation programme the council is:

- Setting out the pathways for young people in relation to taking part in learning, training or employment;

- Identifying any duplication or gaps in provision;

- Agreeing how partners will work together to deliver the pathway; and

- Making recommendations to take forward service development, commissioning or decommissioning of supported employment services.

We are working closely in developing  plans with the Enterprise Advisers (in the Local Enterprise Partnership), the County Partnership Manager for Job Centre Plus and the Supported Employment Providers in West Sussex. Work is underway, the first two areas are complete, and a draft plan is due in April 2018.
We are looking at how the services we commission can contribute towards better work outcomes and this includes not only the supported employment services but also our adult day services.

We are working closely in developing these plans with the Enterprise Advisers (in the Local Enterprise Partnership), the County Partnership Manager for Job Centre Plus and the Supported Employment Providers in West Sussex. Work is underway, the first two areas are complete, and a draft plan is due in April 2018.

Background

There is a range of specific laws which provide a backdrop to the council’s approach to supporting people with health and care needs with their employment outcomes. Over the years there have also been national policies and programmes for tackling unemployment for those with care and support needs.

Despite this the Green Paper ‘Work, health and disability: improving lives’ (November 2017) says that ‘employment rates amongst disabled people reveal one of the most significant inequalities in the UK today and that despite a record-breaking labour market, 4.6 million disabled people and people with long-term health conditions are out of work leaving individuals, and some large parts of communities, disconnected from the benefits that work brings. People who are unemployed have higher rates of mortality and a lower quality of life and that this is an injustice that we must address’.

The government’s employment measure for people with a learning disability (available annually from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework) indicates West Sussex are not currently performing well compared to other areas of England, where the average is employment rate is 5.7%. Please note that this measure counts the proportion of adults who are receiving long-term services, and not all people with a learning disability that are in paid employment

The council would like to see an increase in the number of people with a lifelong disability who gain and retain paid or self-employment and have set a target to improve our performance for people with a learning disability.