The Scottish Union of Supported Employment
SUSE was established in 1995 and seeks to promote supported employment by working with policy makers and funders; and support our members to develop and deliver high quality services. We are a learning organisation, dedicated to sharing innovative practice across our membership and the wider employability community in Scotland. Recently, SUSE was influential in ensuring Scotland’s new employability services, Fair Start Scotland, include supported employment in every contract area.
We aim to increase the profile of SUSE in the years ahead. The progress and profile of SUSE continues to increase and there have been many exciting developments in the past few years. This has included:
- The creation of this website including a dedicated members area.
- A blueprint for Supported Employment in Scotland
- Equality and Diversity Training for employers and practitioners
- An annual conference
- Four full member network meetings per annum
- Membership of the European Union of Supported Employment
- Input in Scottish supported employment policy, and development of tools for improving supported employment quality and consistency.
The profile and interest in Supported Employment has never been higher and SUSE is at the forefront of developing and delivering the model to a wider target audience.
The Scottish Union of Supported Employment strives to be a democratic organisation driven by its membership. To achieve this aim, a structure of local area networks has been set up where members can discuss local issues.
As a company limited by guarantee, SUSE has a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consists of x members. Elections to the Board are held at the Annual General Meetings.
General Meetings – These meetings are held regularly, and cover national topics plus the general running issues of SUSE. At each meeting there is a guest speaker on a particular aspect of interest to supported employment providers.
Board of Directors – Each year at the Annual General Meeting a Management Board is elected to undertake the general running of SUSE. At present this committee can have a membership of 15 representatives nominated from the networks.
- To promote and develop the concept & practice of Supported Employment in Scotland and ensure the availability of a professional high-quality service.
- To have Supported Employment recognised as mainstream service within Scotland.
- For SUSE to be established as the professional body that supports all those working within the sector.
Achieving our Goals through:
- Awareness raising
- Membership development
- Networking support
- Policy development and lobbying
- Training, Education and Quality Standards
The Supported Employment Framework for Scotland has been clear in stating that supported employment is for all people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.
Here at SUSE we work to promote a supported employment collaborative approach, which needs the co-operation and understanding of everyone involved, from the client, support provider, employer and those responsible for funding. This approach is promoted at a local level, for example in Employability partnerships and at a national level.
The role of SUSE over the years has been to support service providers and local SUSE networks, through regular seminars, an annual conference and information exchange. It contributed considerably to the publication of the 2010 Framework for Supported Employment in Scotland and development of the SQA Professional Development Award in Supported Employment Practice, being piloted in 2013.
SUSE is a small organisation and dependent on its volunteer board. However, it continues to emphasise the importance of good quality supported employment both as an early intervention for Community Planning Partnerships and to tackle the inequalities in employment experienced by disabled people.