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A Working Life for All Disabled People: The Supported Employment Framework for Scotland: Summary Report

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1. Introduction

Just under half of disabled people in Scotland are in paid employment, compared to around 75 per cent of the general population. This creates economic and social disadvantage that is preventing disabled people from becoming fully participating members of society. This needs to change by offering more consistent, person-centred support and developing new opportunities to help all disabled people who want to work to do so.

This Framework explains how that can happen. It has been produced following publication of the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee report in December 2006, Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities. That led to the establishment of a Strategic Task Group on Supported Employment in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) and the Scottish Union of Supported Employment ( SUSE). The Task Group worked with a broad range of stakeholders to develop this Framework.

It focuses on how Scottish Government policies can help support disabled people into sustainable work in mainstream employment. It recognises that successful implementation must be underpinned by effective partnership working at both a national and a local level. Consistency in the delivery of support, service standards, workforce training and sustainable funding are all crucial to its success. The Framework also recognises that Scotland has to work within existing UK employment programmes run by the Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP). It seeks to avoid any duplication while working towards achieving better overall outcomes.

The aim is for paid work in the open labour market to be a reality for all citizens in Scotland. To make this happen, supported employment needs to be embedded in society as a whole. Employment as an outcome must be an integral part of all policies addressing the needs of disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.