Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : £7.6 million to help 2,000 adults with autism into work

The press release issued by the Department for Work and Pensions on 18 August 2022.

The Local Supported Employment (LSE) initiative is providing grant funding to 24 local authorities in England and Wales, representing an investment of £7.6 million over the next three years.

Each local authority area will support between 60 and 140 adults with learning disabilities, autism or both to move into competitive employment and provide the help they need to maintain that employment.

An average of 91 participants in each local authority are set to benefit from the grant funding and support, which will include assigning job coaches who can carry out vocation profiling, engage employers and provide in-work support to help develop more careers.

This follows the government hitting its target to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 five years early, as ministers consider a new target to help bring down the disability employment gap further in the forthcoming Health & Disability White Paper, due in the autumn.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Chloe Smith MP said:

“Disabled people deserve the same opportunities to start, stay and succeed in employment as everyone else.

We know that those with autism and learning disabilities can face particular barriers to employment, which is why we’re spending £7.6m through the Local Supported Employment initiative.

We hope to break down those barriers and use local networks to help more disabled people reach their full potential.”

A total of 22 local authorities in England and two in Wales will benefit from the funding worth £7.6m over the Spending Review period.

The DWP along with nine local authorities ran an LSE proof of concept pilot in November 2017 for 18 months. Following a consultation process with those involved, the DWP has incorporated feedback and lessons learned into the design of the latest initiative.

Evidence from other supported employment programmes suggests that at least 30% of participants should start some form of work following involvement in the initiative.

The longer-term ambition is to provide further evidence to local authorities of the value of supported employment to help drive further investment and secure effective employment for more people with learning disabilities, autism or both.

The government made a public commitment to delivering LSE in the Adult Social Care Reform White Paper)

and the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper (England) to ensure that everyone should get the support they need whatever their disability or health condition.

Additional information

Local Supported Employment (LSE)

DWP is providing grant funding for 24 County Councils and Unitary Authorities (including Metropolitan Councils and London Boroughs) in England and Wales, to take part in the LSE Initiative.

These are:

Cheshire East Council
Gloucestershire County Council
Barking and Dagenham
Lincolnshire County Council
Surrey County Council
City of Cardiff Council
The Council of the City of Wakefield
Oxfordshire County Council
Norfolk County Council (NCC)
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council
Leicester Council
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Tower Hamlets
Salford Council
Lancashire County Council
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Durham County Council (DCC)
Southampton Council
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC)
Pembrokeshire County Council
Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Barnsley MBC
Kent County Council

Supported Employment has been successfully used for decades as a model for supporting people with significant disabilities to secure and retain paid employment. Supported Employment does not adhere to a work readiness model, rather a Place, Train and Maintain approach is implemented.