‘Excellent’ rating highlights the benefits of working together to champion Supported Employment in South Yorkshire

As part of the Department for Work and Pension (DWP)’s Local Supported Employment (LSE) initiative, councils across South Yorkshire are working in partnership to create more inclusive employment opportunities for everyone. 

Over the past year, Barnsley Council, the City of Doncaster Council and Sheffield City Council have been teaming up to bring the benefits of Supported Employment to communities across the region. 

Working with local businesses, Supported Employment helps people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and autism to learn new skills, find a role that’s right for them and flourish in the workplace. 

Their joint approach recently welcomed its first Fidelity Assessment from the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE). The team scored 90% in the assessment, securing an ‘Excellent’ rating and being described as a ‘market leader’ in the sector. 

This fantastic achievement is a testament to the innovative approaches we’re taking across South Yorkshire to help more people into work and create more inclusive workplaces. 

Building on the success of Supported Employment in Barnsley, new services have been launched in Doncaster and Sheffield over the past year. These three services are welcomed by residents and businesses alike, supporting 95 people across South Yorkshire so far. 

Our teams will continue working closely with local businesses, who act as champions for Supported Employment, to create more opportunities for our hard-working future employees. 

Councillor Jo Newing, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place Health and Adults, said: “In Barnsley, we’re committed to creating inclusive employment opportunities to help everyone reach their full potential. By working together across South Yorkshire, we’ve been able to build on everything our teams have achieved and bring the benefits of Supported Employment to more people living across the region. 

“I’m delighted to see our joint approach to Supported Employment achieving ‘excellent’ in its first Fidelity Assessment. We couldn’t have done it without the great partnerships we enjoy in South Yorkshire, and we’ll continue working together to remove barriers to people getting into work.” 

Councillor Lani-Mae Ball, Cabinet Member for Early Help, Education, Skills and Young People for the City of Doncaster Council, said: “This partnership working between Barnsley and Sheffield is already proving to be a success and I am delighted that more inclusive opportunities will open up for our residents who want to succeed in the workplace but have been met with barriers in the past. 

“I look forward to building on our accomplishments as we help more residents across Doncaster discover the benefits that working and volunteering can bring.” 

Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee for Sheffield City Council, said: “The Supported Employment model is an important enabler of labour market inclusivity in Sheffield and across South Yorkshire, ensuring those with additional support needs have increased opportunity to access the workplace, undertake meaningful employment and realise the wider benefits of having a job. 

“The ‘excellent’ rating for our LSE programme is testament to the commitment of our job coaches, participants and employers, and a demonstration of what can be achieved through effective partnership working across the region.” 

Our Supported Employment service helps people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties or autism to learn new skills and flourish in the workplace. Find out how our friendly team can help you find and keep a job or volunteering role you’ll enjoy by visiting barnsley.gov.uk/SEV. 

Our team can also help your business to create Supported Employment opportunities free of charge, recruiting the right people and training them in their roles. Find out how we can help you diversify your workforce by visiting barnsley.gov.uk/SupportedEmployment. 

We also work with SpeakUp Self Advocacy as part of their ‘Employment is for Everyone’ project, creating opportunities across South Yorkshire for people with learning disabilities and autism. 

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