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Employers’ Views of Supported Employment for Disabled People in Scotland Pippa Coutts.

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Presentation on theme: "Employers’ Views of Supported Employment for Disabled People in Scotland Pippa Coutts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employers’ Views of Supported Employment for Disabled People in Scotland Pippa Coutts


3 Welfare Reform more focussed on work 52 % of claimants fit for work (DWP, Jan 2013) In a year 203,700 FFW (2011/12) 21 % of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) Work Choice, 11,000, April – Dec 2012. The Context to the Research

4 How do employers understand supported employment and what are the opportunities and challenges afforded by supported employment? What has been their experience of supported employees? What changes would be needed to make supported employment work more effectively? Research Questions


6 Micro-enterprise to large retail 4 public sector Teams of about 15-55 people 1-2 supported employees 6 still received a wage subsidy The organisations

7 In post on average for 10 years Majority had learning disabilities and/or physical disabilities Entry level jobs Most working > 16 hours / week The Supported Employees

8 Small number in workplaces Declining willingness? Subsidies as an in incentive ? Discussion

9 Experienced, good work colleague. …Does a great job (Large national company). She’s quite good at what she does. … She’s keen to work. … Keen to prove her worth (Micro business). He’s a valued member of the team (Care home). Managers’ Views of employees

10 Reliant, motivated Positive impact on colleagues Adaptations can benefit all Good PR Can have an affinity with clients. Opportunities

11 A ‘learning curve’ Have to take time and be patient Manage staff teams’ grumbles Fast paced environment Changing nature of work : More multi-tasking More computer literacy/IT. Challenges

12 Mentoring, buddying or regular supervision Adapted training for people with learning difficulties Adapted communication; 1-to-1 Physical adaptions; wheelchair Support provided by employers

13 Recruitment of Staff Review visits At specific points, e.g. redundancy and relocation Not sure the help really for the employer, nor should be Support from Work Choice

14 Want more of it (advice to funders) Most managers satisfied with the SE support provided over time If in previous DWP programmes, had issues with Work Choice. Managers’ opinions

15 Just > ½ felt no effect on their ability to take on supported employees Minority mentioned shrinking business and tighter budgets Statutory sector cap on recruitment Pace and nature of work affecting disabled employees’ chances of work Recessionary Effects


17 Trusting relationship between the employee and manager; A real job for the employee; Good fit between the job and the individual’s skills and aspirations; A situation which suited both the employer and the employee Managers’ Critical Success Factors

18 Workplaces reached “saturation” point Strategic engagement to include: –Increase awareness that supported employees good staff members –Support employers to spread good practice across their organisations. Strategic engagement with employers

19 Reverse the decline of supported employment Make sure there are supported employment services funded to suit those not in the Work Choice programme Specialist employer engagement focussed on the employment of more disabled people. Policy Makers & Commissioners

20 Promote and protect quality: that’s what employers want Supported Employment Providers

21 Pippa Coutts, Scottish Union of Supported Employment Professor Sheila Riddell, Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity, University of Edinburgh Contact:

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