Adults with learning disability 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.
We aim to meet or better the national average by 2022

December 2019 performance

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%.
Our 2019-20 milestone target is 4%.
Access to the supported employment service is direct and many customers are also supported by My Network Plus or do not have personal budgets.  Therefore, they would not be counted in this indicator.


We believe that performance in this area is significantly under reported as it does not capture all the supported employment work undertaken by the local providers to facilitate work opportunities for people with learning disabilities.  Supported employment is an ‘early help’ service and people can refer to the service directly without social care assessment and are not always ‘known to the council’ or included in measure.
There are a wide range of initiatives in progress which will take some time to have an impact but will change the attitude to employment from young people, parents and schools. Actions include:-
  • Supported internship programme; there is a work pilot in 2 day services; and SEND job clubs will be expanded so that there are 3 schools working to get people to think about work and preparing them for it during 2020/21.  There is an increasing number of Supported Internship places offered by FE colleges from 10 to 39 places starting in September 2019 and increased from 1 college to 4 colleges offering Internships.
  • DWP  working locally to get more companies to become disability friendly which will support increased employment opportunities for this group.  
  • Assessments which are helping people and their families to prepare for adulthood outcome ‘Learning, training and work’. More employment conversations with customers and families.
  • SEND Employability Task Group established with SEND employment Plan being developed with key stakeholders and SEND Employment campaign was launched in March 2019.
  • A new Supported Employment Service to start in April 2020, with more emphasis on paid employment rather than voluntary work. 
  • Access to Work Fund films to support more applications launched in June 2019.
  • Web based information on employment is uploaded to Connect to Support and The Local Offer.
  • We are working with the councils Human Resource team to look at increasing the number of opportunities within the council’s workforce.