Supporting People with Disabilities into
Wednesday 24th April 2013
Kieran Molloy – The Cedar Foundation
Peter Shields – Action Mental Health
Supported Employment Solutions
Supported Employment Solutions
Implementing a
Supported Employment
approach in the
delivery of programmes
to assist people with
disabilities and health
conditions to enter and
stay in employment.
• Partnership of locally-based
• True sense of partnership
working and collaboration
• Pan-disability
• Strategic context
• Shared set of values
Supported Employment Solutions
Value Base and Ethos
• Commitment to provide the best quality service to programme
participants, employers and programme commissioners;
• Provision of person-centred services to people with disabilities and
health conditions which respect the dignity, aspirations and choices of
each individual;
• Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise to ensure delivery of a high
quality, standardised service;
• Openness and accountability to ensure partnership working is carried
out in a spirit of trust and mutual support;
Supported Employment Solutions
Work Connect
Work Connect is a voluntary programme administered by the
Disability Employment Service, (DES), to facilitate the
employment needs of people with disabilities and/or health
It has been designed to support these individuals
to help them move from incapacity related
benefits into lasting, paid employment through
three clearly defined stages.
Work Connect
3 Stage process
• Pre-Employment Support-during which all clients are offered a
range of assistance to improve their employability and to assist
them to find a job. This may last up to 26 weeks, ( and with prior
approval, it can be extended for another 13 weeks)
• Job Entry Support to assist the client prepare to move from
economic inactivity to start employment
• Supporting Sustained Employment to assist clients who start work
to maintain employment by providing support through their first
26 weeks in work.
Work Connect
People and Places
Workable (NI)
• Is a programme that gives people with disabilities the opportunity of working
in a wide variety of jobs.
• The person’s disability must have a significant adverse impact on their ability
to carry out the particular job they are currently doing or the job they are
applying for
• Workable (NI) is delivered in three Regions across N.Ireland
• The programme is delivered by three Providers
- Supported Employment Solutions (SES)
- Ulster Sheltered Employment (USEL)
- Disability Action
Workable (NI)
• Workable (N.I.) provides a range of supports to employers and
• Workable (NI) tailors support to individuals to meet their specific
employment needs. The provision can include support such as:
- An Employment Support Officer to assist the disabled worker
and their colleagues adapt to the needs of the particular job
- Developmental costs to the employer
- Extra training
- Disability awareness training
Disability in Northern Ireland
• Northern Ireland (NI) has one of the highest incidences of disability in
the UK
• Overall 21% of adults were found to have a disability but this rises from
5% for 16-25 year group; 11% 26-44 year groups and 23% 45-59 year
• Nearly two-thirds of working age disabled people in Northern Ireland
are economically inactive, which is 3 times the rate for non-disabled
• 42% of disabled people of working age had no qualifications compared
to 16% without a disability.
Disability in Northern Ireland
Specialist Employment Programmes
• Access to Work (NI)
• Workable (NI)
• Work Connect
• Job Introduction Scheme
• European Funded Specialist
Why Specialist Supports are
• Lack of holistic, person-centred approach
• Lack of accessible accredited, pre-vocational and vocational
training opportunities for people with disabilities
• Financial barriers
• Transport, inaccessible and prohibitive costs
• Lack of long-term job support interventions
• Disability ‘un-awareness’
• Support to Employers
• Lack of opportunity to progress
Benefits of Working with
Specialist Providers
• Assist Prime Contractors to achieve successful outcomes
• Provide ‘end to end’ client support
• Comprehensive knowledge of the supports required by those
furthest away from the labour market
• Strong, existing relationships with a range of statutory,
community and voluntary organisations
• Extensive employer network across N.Ireland

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