Kennedy Scott and Central YMCA today launch a new national service to support people with disabilities into work

By PosAbility Magazine

Kennedy Scott and Central YMCA are launching their new DWP Specialist Employability Services (SES) contract today, September 1st.

This is an important milestone for Kennedy Scott as this represents both a new Prime Contract, and an extension of the organisation’s service across the UK for the first time. This two-year contract will support 735 people with disabilities, more than a third of whom are expected to go into sustainable work.

This contract also marks the start of Kennedy Scott and YMCA’s pioneering new SME-third sector partnership. This fuses Kennedy Scott’s long history of supporting the most disadvantaged into work with YMCA’s 171 years of history of changing lives through education, training and campaigning.

This partnership, and its seven third sector subcontractors, will operate using the innovative ‘Circle of Support’ model which brings together all relevant parties in an individual’s life to provide a unified approach, share responsibility and form a constant bedrock of support. This draws on an evidence base and best practice from sectors including dementia care and occupational health. This multidisciplinary approach will draw on the expertise of both internal and external experts, with KS Case Managers seeking to build the self-esteem and confidence of each participant on their journey into sustainable work.

Commenting on the start of the contract, Teresa Scott, CEO of Kennedy Scott said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this Prime SES Contract, which is a significant milestone for us. We have built on our previous success to develop an innovative circle of support model, and together with YMCA, this will help us to support more people than ever before back into sustainable jobs”.

This contract forms a major part of the government’s drive to halve the gap in the employment rate between disabled and non-disabled people. It will be heavily evaluated to measure the impact that it makes, with both organisations in the partnership absolutely committed to its success.

This was evident at the launch of the contract in central London on 21st August, which was attended by staff from both organisations, as well as stakeholders including from the DWP.