Supported employment: review report and Scottish Government response

Year of Publication: 

The Scottish Government commissioned Social Finance to conduct an evaluation of supported employment delivery within Scotland

The research was designed to provide a robust, independent review of how supported employment is delivered, and where gaps in provision lie.

The evaluation sought to address the following core research questions:

  • Where is supported employment being implemented and where are the gaps in provision?
  • What type of service is being provided by Local Authorities, for whom, and what are the outcomes?
  • What are some of the reasons for gaps in the service and how can these be addressed?
  • How can the service providers be further supported to promote greater consistency and use of service?

 BASE Scotland was part of the Steering group with other key stakeholders from across Scotland and beyond.


The research identified three key themes and goals to be addressed in future supported employment delivery. These goals were agreed by the project steering group:

1. reduce variability of access across different Local Authority areas;

2. increase transparency of data collection and outcomes; and

3. standardise quality assurance of supported employment.

There is an opportune policy window of about 18 months to March 2023 to develop plans to implement the recommendations within this report. This period coincides with the end of the current Fair Start Scotland contracts and Keys to Life strategy. Underpinning all these recommendations is a goal of creating a culture of high expectations for people with learning disabilities and a focus on mainstream paid employment. This theme came through strongly in focus groups and conversations with people with learning disabilities.

Attached is the research and the Scottish Government's response to the recommendations contained in the report.