The Scottish Government conducted an evaluation of supported employment delivery within Scotland and the full report was published on 27th September. The research was designed to provide a robust, independent review of how supported employment is delivered, and where gaps in provision lie. It aimed to map the current landscape of supported employment in Scotland, assess the quality of provision and provide recommendations for future delivery.

The review has identified a very positive landscape from which to develop high quality supported employment services across Scotland. This includes providers with many years of experience, motivated and committed policy makers and innovative Local Authority commissioners. And importantly, many individuals with learning disability and autistic people who are passionate about working and with so many skills, experiences and ideas to offer to employers and wider society. The challenge that this review has identified and sought to address is how to spread these examples of excellent practice across the country and improve consistency and quality of the service offer.

David Cameron, SUSE CEO, said, “We will be working with our members to ensure that this leads to the expansion and improvement of the services across the country that disabled people need and deserve. It is now more important than ever that our voices are heard, to put Supported Employment at the heart of the employability offer in Scotland.” The report was discussed at the SUSE AGM on 12th October.

To read the full report please click the link: Supported Employment Review Full Report

To read the Scottish Government’s position on the report, please click the link: Scottish Government Position Paper

SUSE Member Event 

On the 24th January, SUSE Members joined us for an in-depth discussion about the Scottish Government’s Supported Employment Review and how this should be taken forward in 2023.

Representatives from the Scottish Government outlined that the research was designed to provide a robust, independent review of how supported employment is delivered, and where gaps in provision lie. It aimed to map the current landscape of supported employment in Scotland, assess the quality of provision and provide recommendations for future delivery.

Social Finance, who was commissioned to conduct the evaluation, provided an overview of the findings and recommendations.

Following that, Members were allocated breakout rooms to allow in-depth discussion on the recommendations. On the whole Members were encouraged by the Review and agreed with the recommendations, but it was felt that further work and commitment is required to ensure the recommendations can be implemented effectively. Groups discussed how to gain buy-in for the proposed Supported Employment Quality Standard and how the work that SUSE has been doing on this can be taken forward, how ring-fenced funding could work and how to increase access to training and development for Supported Employment practitioners across Scotland.

A key topic of discussion was around the implementation of a career pathway for those working in Supported Employment, along with the creation on sector specific qualifications, from entry level through to management and strategic direction.

The work of Apt PSP, which is led by SUSE, was highlighted in the report as an innovative way of engaging employers.

SUSE Members who attended the meeting will be sent a copy of the Social Finance presentation and a summary of discussion points.

Working Group

At this event we agreed to form a Working Group to take forward the ideas that came from our discussions. This Group will meet on a monthly basis and we will provide regular updates on the SUSE website.

Thank you to those who volunteered to be part of the Review Working Group. We will be arranging our first meeting in February to agree the next steps and collate a response to the Scottish Government.

What’s Next?

Read our latest update here.