Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Status Employment after the publication of the Welfare Reform Green Paper

  This Response was done in conjunction with Status Employment Focus Group which offers a wide representation of our candidates.

  Status Employment is a charity helping those people further away from the labour market. Whilst we welcome the proposal of offering a more work-focused benefit we have a concern that it could create a two-tier system. Over 70% of the candidates who use Status employment would fall into section 21 page 6. Yet we have been incredibly successful at moving this client group into employment as well as into social inclusion. Currently the major challenge is that 70% of our funding for this candidate group is non-mainstream as they do not fit into the current target culture that is expected by mainstream funders. The current length of time for our candidates to find employment is 11 months and then comprehensive support is then offered to help sustainability. We believe this type of intervention can often be cheaper than the person constantly using other medical services. It is vital within these proposals that funding and programmes either with the DWP or with partnership with the DOH are identified so that these candidates can be included in society.

  Whilst Status Employment welcomes the idea of employment consultants working with GPs we also feel that GPs should not be coerced into sending patients there as this could jeopardise the doctor patient relationship.

  Status Employment would like to see some proper linkage with the DTI to see how employers would fit into the equation. We have a concern that there it is yet again an expectation that the public services will provide the jobs. This is also stated in the Valuing People Learning Disability White Paper but has not come to fruition. Status Employment still only gains less than 5% of its jobs from public services.

  Status Employment would like to make sure that quality provision that takes into account comprehensive support packages will be offered to candidates wishing to gain employment and that the Government properly consult with BASE (British Association of Supported Employment) as many of its members work with a large proportion of candidates wishing to find work but unable to access current DWP provision.

Robert Elston

Chief Executive

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