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January 2011



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10 September 2009

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) provided the opening address at a 2-day annual conference for BASE, the British Association for Supported Employment today.

The BASE annual conference takes place today and tomorrow (10th and 11th September) at Manchester Metropolitan University with a host of keynote speakers and workshops looking at government policy on disability and mental health particularly within employment strategies and best practice of supported employment across the UK.

The NWDA supports the work BASE is doing with employers across the region to support their understanding of the needs of disabled people and people with long term mental illness. Encouraging employers to create work environments and cultures which can develop effective support for disabled people in real jobs is important for the future of the Northwest economy.  BASE also supports learning disabled and people with mental illness to sustain employment opportunities.

This year’s conference focuses on those most excluded from the labour market, people who are learning disabled or have long term mental health needs.

In his address Steven welcomed the delegates to Manchester and stressed the importance of access to work particularly in the current economic climate. Steven said:

“The Northwest has an international reputation for attracting investments and skilled people, however, despite all this success we know that many of the people within the region still need support in getting onto the employment ladder.


BASE and its member organisations work hard with those who are most marginalised within our society and communities, and we need to congratulate and support this work.

We know that economic inclusion is low in parts of our region and that worklessness is concentrated in particular areas, amongst particular communities and groups and the Agency is doing what it can to help address this. In the current economic climate it is even more vital to interact and involve our entire available workforce and provide support to assist access into work wherever we can.

Engaging with the groups that face barriers to employment is essential if we are to increase sustainable economic activity and secure economic inclusion and participation across the region.”

The BASE AGM continues tomorrow with a range of workshops designed to look at:

Learning disability and mental health employment strategies; the autism strategy for England; best practice within supported employment; public procurement and supported business; job retention and the Fit for Work service; and support for ex-offenders and care leavers.


Notes to Editors:

BASE was formed to promote supported employment as the most effective and direct route to open paid employment for people with disabilities and/or other economic disadvantage.

With over 200 member organisations across Britain, BASE is a powerful and united voice for its members. BASE represents and supports the supported employment sector, informing its members’ activities through regional forums, newsletters, national conferences and its website.

The association is now recognised as a key stakeholder within the disability employment sector. The last year has seen many policy initiatives that are likely to have a great impact on our sector.

BASE has represented the views of members within the DWP’s review of disability employment programmes and the LSC strategy, Learning for Living and Work.

As a member of the Jobcentre Plus Provider Forum, BASE is active in representing the interests of local provider services.

For further information please contact Neil Roscoe, Senior Press Officer on 01925 400232 or mobile 07980 713282 or neil.roscoe@nwda.co.uk

For urgent out of hours press enquiries please call 01925 400259.

For further information and to view previous press releases visit us at www.nwda.co.uk/press

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) leads the economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and is responsible for:
• Supporting business growth and encouraging investment
• Matching skills provision to employer needs
• Creating the conditions for economic growth
• Connecting the region through effective transport and communication infrastructure
• Promoting the region’s outstanding quality of life


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