Funding Boost for Residents With Learning Difficulties to Find Employment

New funding has been secured to further support Oxfordshire residents with learning difficulties and autism to find meaningful employment, helping them to lead independent lives while adding value and diversity to the county’s workforce.

Oxfordshire County Council has successfully applied to take part in the government’s Local Supported Employment scheme, receiving £320,000 over the next three years to help adults with learning disabilities, autism or both to move into competitive employment and provide the help they need to maintain that employment.

Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said, “We are already leading the way in supporting adults with additional needs to find the right career path through the council’s Oxfordshire Employment programme. This funding will enable us to help even more people to secure meaningful jobs, giving them the ability to live independent lives while contributing to the future success of a local business.”

Oxfordshire is one of 24 local authorities in England and Wales to be awarded a share of the grant totalling £7.6million. The funding will allow Oxfordshire Employment to expand its team of specialist advisors, enabling people to develop their skills and find the job they want, helping them to settle in and offering longer term support if needed.

The money will also be spent on providing an employment specialist to join the council’s moving into adulthood team, helping younger people with learning disabilities and autism to take their first steps into the job market.

Oxfordshire County Council has been providing supported employment for more than 75 years, giving adults who may have previously struggled to find a job the opportunity to gain vital work experience and support them to find and retain stable employment.

Oxfordshire Employment also plays an important part in the council’s commitment to working with local businesses and partners for environmental, economic and social benefit. The programme adds significant social value while helping to diversify the local job market, enabling residents to live well and as independently as possible within their own community.

Cllr Bearder added, “This is another great example of The Oxfordshire Way in practice. By putting the individual at the heart of all decisions and working with local employment partners, we are helping people live satisfied, independent lives, without the need for more formal care.”