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New statutory guidance issued in relation to the Specialist Employability Support programme

12 September 2017

DWP advises that provider contracts have been extended for service that helps unemployed disabled people move closer to the labour market.

The DWP has issued new statutory guidance relating to the Specialist Employability Support (SES) programme from September 2017.

Launched in September 2015, the SES programme is a voluntary provision that aims to give a tailored support service to unemployed disabled people to help them move closer to the labour market, with particular focus on offering support to people with sensory impairments and disability groups with the lowest employment rates including people with autism, mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

The statutory guidance, that applies to new referrals for support made from September 2017, includes details of the target groups for the programme, eligibility criteria, and details of who may be suitable for referral, including claimants -

  • who have complex employment support needs, not necessarily arising primarily from their disability (for example, social or financial support needs);
  • who are not suitable for other DWP programmes, including Work Choice; and
  • who are not suitable for non-DWP provisions available either nationally or locally.

NB - in a written answer in the Commons yesterday, DWP Minister Penny Mordaunt gave details of two further employment support initiatives currently being tested which are aimed at people with a learning disability or autism who are either aged between 18 to 24 or known to adult social care services or secondary mental health services.

Specialist Employability Support provider guidance: effective from September 2017 is available from gov.uk