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

June 2020 performance

WSCC have historically performed poorly with this annual measure . This is because only those customers who have had a review in the past twelve months can be counted and there remains a backlog of reviews which have had to be prioritised based on risk factors.
In the context of Covid-19 it is expected that there will be a negative impact on the employment opportunities available this year. Nationally there has been a significant impact on employment with 24% of the UK workforce at risk and workers from a BAME background, women, young workers, low paid workers and disabled workers, most negatively economically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Between March to May 2020 there was a national increase of 1.6m unemployment benefits claimants. The ONS have published a single month estimate for the number of vacancies in May which estimate that the number of vacancies fell to 318,000 in May 2020, the lowest level since records began in 2001.
Our 2020-21 milestone target is 4.9%.
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.
Reasons for not meeting the target 
  • The Council is under-counting because social care teams have a backlog of reviews.
  • The Council’s investment in employment support has not historically resulted in a significant improvement as investment has been used to prevent and delay people from having long-term services rather than targeting those in receipt of long-term services.


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:-
  • New supported employment contract has increased focus on people in receipt of formalised support.
  • DWP in West Sussex are signing up more organisations to become disability confident which will support increased employment opportunities for this group. 
  • The LD service is working with Performance to look how we can capture all the people supported by funded services, including prevention, in this performance measure.
  • 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.