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Confronting the Challenges: A Partnership Approach Peter Shields and Kieran Molloy Co-chairs of Supported Employment Solutions (SES)

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Presentation on theme: "Confronting the Challenges: A Partnership Approach Peter Shields and Kieran Molloy Co-chairs of Supported Employment Solutions (SES)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Confronting the Challenges: A Partnership Approach Peter Shields and Kieran Molloy Co-chairs of Supported Employment Solutions (SES)

2 Welfare reform and competitive tendering are having a significant impact on Supported Employment Services in Northern Ireland. This workshop will illustrate how a locally-based partnership of disability organisations have responded to these challenges.

3 Why is Welfare Reform Happening Sustainability : The system has become too expensive Simplicity : The system has become too complex Targeted : To ensure resources are focused on those in most need Personal Responsibility : To ensure that those who can work are helped move towards work and not trapped in benefits dependency Fairer : To make the system fair for those funding it

4 Universal Credit Universal Credit is a new type of financial support for people of working age who are looking for work or on a low income. It's being introduced in the UK from April 2013 onwards. Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that customers may be already getting now.

5 Universal Credit Universal Credit will replace: Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance Income-related Employment and Support Allowance Income Support Child Tax Credit Working Tax Credit Housing Benefit

6 Employment and Support Allowance ESA was set up in 2008 to replace Incapacity Benefit All existing Incapacity Benefit customers will be reassessed for ESA by mid 2014 ESA provides financial help to people who are unable to work due to illness or disability ESA also provides personalised support to help people prepare for suitable work

7 Employment and Support Allowance Why Change? ESA for people in the Work Related Activity Group was never intended to be a long term benefit To align treatment of ESA Youth so that all customers will need to satisfy the same conditions for the receipt of ESA To simplify the benefits system and to better align ESA rules with contributory Jobseeker’s Allowance

8 Welfare Reform : The Challenges Circa 76,000 people in N.Ireland were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit & ESA in ,100 people in N.Ireland were receiving ESA as of November ,414 customers ( 11% of the 57,100 total ESA customers) could therefore be affected by ESA changes (Figures taken from the NI Employment and Support Allowance Information Booklet)

9 Welfare Reform : The Challenges ESA customers anxious about proposed changes to the welfare system and the introduction of Universal Credit ESA Customers with disabilities or long term health conditions feeling pressurised into finding work The need for specialist support services and programmes to be readily available to assist those with disabilities or long term health conditions in their pathway back to work The need for greater partnership working between the Statutory, Private and Voluntary sectors in supporting people returning to work.

10 Supported Employment – N Ireland Context Supported Employment Services primarily delivered by Voluntary Sector organisations Historically direct commissioning by Department for Employment and Learning Contracts and Service Level Agreements Move to competitive tendering and procurement

11 Drivers for Competitive Tendering EU Legislation Policy Direction from UK Government Northern Ireland Public Procurement Policy Role of Central Procurement Directorate Review of Public Administration in Northern Ireland

12 Tendering Process Contracts are normally awarded on the following basis: Pre-qualification criteria e.g. experience, capacity Value for money Quality Methodology Meeting the needs of all clients

13 Challenges from Procurement Process Retendering for existing services Costs for bidding process are high Skill base to engage in procurement process Undercapitalisation of voluntary sector organisations Lack of knowledge by procurement officials of skills and professionalism of voluntary sector Added value and continuity of service not recognised Reliance by commissioning department on Central Procurement Directorate

14 Challenges to Service Delivery Pressure on Voluntary Sector organisations Increased competition from private sector Focus on prime contractor model Output related funding can encourage “creaming and parking” Most disadvantaged groups can be excluded Lack of joint procurement by government departments e.g. Employment & Learning and Health & Social Care

15 Supported Employment Solutions (SES)

16 Background to SES Implementing a Supported Employment approach in the delivery of programmes to assist people with disabilities and health conditions to enter and stay in employment. Partnership of locally-based organisations Commitment to Employment services Pan-disability Strategic context Shared set of values

17 SES Value Base Commitment to provide the best quality service to programme participants, employers and programme commissioners; Provision of person-centred services to people with disabilities and health conditions which respect the dignity, aspirations and choices of each individual; Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise to ensure delivery of a high quality, standardised service; Openness and accountability to ensure partnership working is carried out in a spirit of trust and mutual support.

18 Workable (NI) Workable is a programme that gives people with disabilities the opportunity of working in a wide variety of jobs. The person’s disability must have a significant adverse impact on their ability to carry out the particular job they are currently doing or the job they are applying for Workable is delivered in three Regions across Northern Ireland by 3 providers Workable provides a range of supports to employers and employees and tailors support to individuals to meet their specific employment needs.

19 Work Connect Pre-Employment Support-during which all clients are offered a range of assistance to improve their employability and to assist them to find a job. This may last up to 26 weeks, ( and with prior approval, it can be extended for another 13 weeks) Job Entry Support to assist the client prepare to move from economic inactivity to start employment Supporting Sustained Employment to assist clients who start work to maintain employment by providing support through their first 26 weeks in work.

20 Sharing Resources

21 Looking to the Future Responding effectively to meet the needs of clients as Welfare Reform changes are implemented Developing our capacity to be successful in a competitive tendering arena Tendering for new programmes e.g. Steps to Success More formal SES partnership structure Increased working with Public and Private sector


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