Our Supported Employment team wins prestigious Economic Development award

We’re delighted to announce that our Supported Employment team has won this year’s Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Economic Development award. 

The team works tirelessly to help people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties, neurodiverse conditions and Autism to succeed in work, championing inclusive employment practices across the region. 

By collaborating with Barnsley businesses and partners across South Yorkshire, this prestigious award win shows what’s possible to help everyone unlock the benefits of learning and work. 

Over the past year, we’ve been able to really showcase the impact of our innovative approaches to helping more people into work and creating inclusive workplaces, including: 

  • Winning the South Yorkshire Careers Hub Award for Creativity and Innovation. 
  • Being described as a ‘market leader’ as part of our first Fidelity Assessment from the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE). Our partnership with Sheffield City Council and the City of Doncaster Council was rated ‘Excellent’. 
  • Sharing many success stories of how we’ve helped future employees overcome the barriers they face, develop new skills and flourish in the workplace. 
  • Businesses embracing the service to supply their workforce before going to recruit. 


By winning this year’s LGC Economic Development award, we have been able to show the positive impact our support is having in both our communities and our economy, encouraging change across the region. Our Economic Development service was also shortlisted in the same category.  

The award was one of two wins for Barnsley at the ceremony in London, with our Public Health team also picking up the Public Health award. These two trophies follow our success as overall Council of the Year at the same ceremony last year.  

Wendy Lowder, Executive Director for Place Health and Adult Social Care, said: “In Barnsley, we’re passionate about doing things differently to improve the lives of our residents. We’re really proud of our Supported Employment service, who help more people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and Autism to be ambitious and flourish in work. 

“It’s great to see the team winning this prestigious LGC Award, shining a light on how we’re being innovative in Barnsley to remove the barriers some people face getting into work. This award is a testament to the brilliant health and care partnerships we enjoy in South Yorkshire.” 

Matt O’Neill, Executive Director for Growth and Sustainability, said: “We believe Barnsley is the place of possibilities, which is why we’re committed to helping more people to benefit from lifelong learning, skills and employment, creating the right opportunities for our residents. 

“Supported Employment’s success stories show how we’re creating ambition and helping more people unlock the benefits of learning and work. I’m delighted to see this being recognised at this year’s LGC Awards, showing how we’re leading the way in Barnsley in growing an inclusive economy that benefits both our communities and businesses.”  

We would like to thank all the businesses and partners, both in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire, who have helped to bring this prestigious award to our borough. 

Get in touch with our Supported Employment team 

Our Supported Employment service helps people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and Autism to learn new skills and flourish in the workplace. Visit our webpage to find out how our friendly team can support you.   

The service also works with businesses to create inclusive work and volunteering opportunities free of charge. Visit our webpage to find out how your business could create an opportunity 

We’re proud to offer support for people to access learning and work through our Skills and Employability advisors. The team can help you to explore what’s possible and find opportunities that are right for you. 

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