In 2018, a group of organisations (including Lighthouse Futures Trust) working in different parts of the country started meeting up to share best practice and look at each other’s models. They came from the private, public and third sectors and were based all over the country. This proved to be so useful that they decided to set up the National Supported Employment Forum or NSEF as we call it which has been meeting every 2 months since late 2019. We have agreed some Terms of Reference, held an inaugural conference (in Leeds in February 2020) and set up some working groups. In the summer of 2020 we also worked with Imperial College, London, to launch a national survey which consulted with over 50 providers, all working in the fields of employment for people with support needs.
Three of our interns are now working on this project and are undertaking in-depth consultations across different areas: schools/colleges; charities; employers; parent/carer forums; public sector. The aim is that we will continue to gather and share best practice and help develop some blueprints and guides that others can follow, so we can spread the model further afield. www.nsef.org.uk.