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Www.afi.no Supported Employment agencies in the EU and EFTA- EEA countries: In search of inclusion skills competence Flexwork Research Conference, Amsterdam.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.afi.no Supported Employment agencies in the EU and EFTA- EEA countries: In search of inclusion skills competence Flexwork Research Conference, Amsterdam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supported Employment agencies in the EU and EFTA- EEA countries: In search of inclusion skills competence Flexwork Research Conference, Amsterdam 2013 Øystein Spjelkavik

2 Background 2010 – 2011: COWI (Copenhagen), Work Research Institute (Oslo), and the European Union of Supported Employment (EUSE) were tasked with: Mapping of SE in 30 countries In depth study in six countries of framework conditions (Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, Spain, Sweden and UK) Compendium of good practices Directory of supporting services (address book) Policy recommendations [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011] 2008 – 2011: Work Research Institute (Oslo) organised dialogue settings for sharing experiences of Supported Employment among job seekers, employers, agencies, PES in all Nordic countries [Hagen et al. 2011; Spjelkavik 2012]

3 Status of Supported Employment Main observations A lot of practitioners, clients, employers, employees and governments are involved A wealth of approaches and initiatives - SE is understood in many ways Framework conditions for SE are quite different – unitary and ad hoc systems In many cases, SE plays only a minor role as an add-on service in the total budget of an agency [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

4 Definition Supported Employment provides support to people with disabilities or other disadvantaged groups to obtain and maintain paid employment in the open labour market It is part of SE to engage clients as active job seekers; help them identify their skills and preferences for work; match their profile to a suitable job; make sure that integration into job and workplace is successful and provide on-the-job support also to employers and work colleagues, as well as long time follow-up [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

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6 Main findings and recommendations It is not clear to all governments what the societal/monetary benefits of SE could be; funding is unstable and unpredictable; insufficient monitoring and statistics Policy decision at national level to enhance SE and monitoring Some countries have set up national programmes and established a framework to enhance SE, others have made legal room for exercising SE. Some have islands of projects unevenly distributed National programmes rather than projects Employers are interested in minimising risks involved in hiring pwd Job coach is key to the implementation of SE Access to SE and framework conditions differ between countries Organisational set-up of SE under PES [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

7 Good practice Supported Employment in Spain (2), Czech Republic (2), Austria (2), Sweden, UK, Northern Ireland, Norway Main findings of good practice examples (I) Key area for success and what made particularly good examples was the role of a SE agency and in particular the intervention of a job coach In most of the examples, the jobs were specially created, showing that job development is a very important aspect of SE In all events the job coach facilitated the final sustained, paid job outcome. It is likely that in all the examples, the job seeker would not have got the paid job outcome without the support given by the job coach The opportunity of getting intensive support to find and keep a suitable job by a personal job coach for a longer period is one of the factors for success [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

8 Main findings of good practice examples (II) In most examples a short term Work Experience Placement was beneficial to the employer, the prospective employee, and the Job coach determine how much support would be required, and to observe if the particular work place and job tasks constituted a good job match The main reason for the employers’ positive attitude was the assurance that the job coach would take a proactive part in the inclusion process, so that the responsibility would not be left to the employer alone The examples show that in many situations, employers genuinely want to accommodate a disabled person; they simply need practical help and guidance - which is where the availability of SE is essential [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

9 Main findings of good practice examples (III) The examples show how framework conditions are conducive to get disabled clients of SE into the open labour market with the competent assistance of a job coach with the relevant knowledge and skills The examples show that a variety of accompanying measures may assist SE to facilitate the inclusion process as they can play an important role for increasing employers’ willingness and opportunity to hire people with reduced work ability Close co-operation between SE services and external services, as well as individual and proactive support to the employer and the employee, are decisive factors to find and maintain paid work on the open labour market for the clients of SE [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

10 Status of SE in the Nordic countries Several studies show that SE in the Nordic countries is a successful approach for people with support needs to get and keep a job in the ordinary labour market - the core lesson of SE is that everybody can work on the open labour market, given the right professional support SE is still not a large proportion of all work-related measures for people with vocational support needs; the sheltered sector and ‘train then place’ still prevail SE is typically provided as an add-on service by agencies that financially and skills-wise are based on traditional forms of pre- vocational training, sheltered workshops and municipality day care activities [Hagen et al. 2011, Official Norwegian Report 2012:6; Spjelkavik 2012]

11 SE does not develop as a bottom-up process While observers find that SE has a strong evidence-base, there is reluctance in mainstreaming such services There is no strength and pressure from the bottom to challenge the established vocational rehab systems and the inherent perspectives Development of quality-based SE services on a widespread basis require strong policy support - the policy-administrative levels must: address the domination of the traditional vocational rehabilitation model define the particular inclusion skills competence to be expected by the professional job coach of SE [Drake et al. 2012; Hagen et al. 2011, Official Norwegian Report 2012:6; Spjelkavik 2012]

12 Challenges With the exception of the Swedish SIUS at the PES, SE operates in a principal–agent system, purchased by public administration and is performed as an add-on service by sheltered sector service providers There is a tendency among SE agencies to “cherry pick” when pressed to improve job outcome and to reduce time spent on follow-up Job coaches often blame clients or employers for inclusion failure SE agencies and PES case workers argue that clients must be ‘job ready’ – this creates a strong incentive for the traditional forms of pre-vocational training and maintain SE as an add-on service International quality standards for SE (i.e. IPS fidelity scale, SE 5-Stage Process) are seldom used as a basis for agencies There is no commonly accepted definition of what skills and actions are to be expected of a professional job coach [Hagen et al. 2011, Spjelkavik 2012]

13 Inclusion Skills Competence The decisive role of the professional job coach is to create conditions for successful inclusion for clients with strong support needs professional knowledge about job seeker, guidance and proactive follow up professional knowledge about workplace inclusion and support to employers responsibility of the inclusion process and adjustment for coping [Hagen et al. 2011; Spjelkavik 2012] Main tasks of job coach include: knowledge of entire relevant system establish good job-match proactive dialogue with employers job retention and career development involvement of relevant external support services [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

14 Recommendations Clear competence requirements for job coaches Formal training of job coaches – protect title Ensure realistic case load Ensure reasonable remuneration of job coach [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

15 Summing up Resource approach – look at the resources of people with disabilities in an employment context and match competencies with employers needs. The perspective of SE is that of resources of human beings not of deficits Equal access for all in a country – enhanced through national institutional set-up. Treat people with disabilities as jobseekers Defining Supported Employment with emphasis on employment in the open labour market Conducive legal framework which not only allows but insists on the right for all citizens to participate on the open labour market Job coach - key catalyst in making the market work flexibly and transparent- "matchmaker" between supply and demand. Proactive approach. Correct organisational anchorage [European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2011]

16 References Drake, R.E., Bond, G.R., Becker, D. R (2012): Individual Placement and Support. An Evidence-Based Approach to Supported Employment. Oxford University Press. European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (2011): Supported Employment for people with disabilities in the EU and EFTA-EEA – good practices and recommendations in support of a flexicurity approach, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union. Hagen, B., Härkäpää, K., Spjelkavik, Ø. (2011): Supported Employment i Norden (Supported Employment in the Nordic countries), Oslo, Work Research Institute. NOU 2012:6, Norges offentlige utredninger, Arbeidsrettede tiltak (Official Norwegian Report 2012:6 Labour market measures), Oslo, Ministry of Labour. Spjelkavik, Ø (2012): Supported Employment in Norway and in the other Nordic countries. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 37 (2012) 163–172.


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