About Supported Employment

About Supported Employment

Supported Employment has been successfully used for decades as a model for supporting people with significant disabilities to secure and retain paid employment. The model uses a partnership strategy to enable people with disabilities to achieve sustainable long-term employment and businesses to employ valuable workers. Increasingly, supported employment techniques are being used to support other disadvantaged groups such as young people leaving care, ex-offenders and people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse.

BASE members regard employers as key customers of their services. There is a strong business case for employing a diverse workforce as many companies have discovered. We believe that co-workers have much to gain by supporting the participant in their development - it is a very rewarding experience to contribute towards change in another person.

Employment terms and conditions for people with disabilities should be the same as for everyone else including pay at the contracted going rate, equal employee benefits, safe working conditions and opportunities for career advancement.

We identify the most 'natural' ways in which we can support people with disabilities in employment, working in partnership with employers and all concerned. More intensive and personalised approaches such as Training in Systematic Instruction are available if needed.

Supported Employment is often described as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) when it is used to support people with long term mental health needs. In IPS there is an additional emphasis on the co-location of employment and clinical staff.

Supported Employment is underpinned by a set of core values which are included in the National Occupational Standards for Supported Employment.


The Model

The supported employment modelThis 5-stage model has at its heart the notion that anyone can be employed if they want paid employment and sufficient support is provided. The model is a flexible and continuous process, designed to meet all anticipated needs. The EUSE  Supported Employment toolkit although aimed at professionals, provides background information on the supported employment model and includes useful "how to" guides.  

The model is equally applicable to supporting job retention.