4. What happens next?
The Scottish Government and COSLA are fully committed to implementing a Supported Employment Framework to help ensure every opportunity is given for paid employment to become a reality for disabled people and those with long-term conditions who are able to work but who are often excluded from such opportunities.
Underpinning this plan of action is a need for a cultural shift to an approach that recognises the benefits of work and understands that disabled people and those with long-term conditions have the right to employment. Attention should be focused on ability rather than disability.
The success of this depends on strong partnership working and a move away from segregated services and programmes to a more flexible and dynamic person-centred approach where paid employment is considered as a realistic and achievable outcome.
Every public service has a responsibility for this and a contribution to make. The challenge for public services is to lead by example and, through Community Planning structures, nurture commitment from a range of others in the spirit of delivering truly inclusive communities.
Single arrangements need to be agreed locally on funding/resource applications, funding allocations and performance management to ensure the most effective use and improved outcomes for both the funders and the individuals seeking employment. Existing resources will have to be used more effectively and funds shifted from services such as day care to be reinvested in Supported Employment as a cost effective alternative and one that promotes inclusion and opportunities for paid work for all of Scotland's citizens.
This will all require greater consistency in the model to be used, standards to be applied, skills across the workforce, costs and performance management arrangements and the outcomes achieved.
The next section sets out the action plan which identifies what needs to be done and who should take lead responsibility. Implementing this plan will develop a more coherent and consistent system that will deliver better outcomes to help make paid employment a reality for many more disabled people across Scotland. An Implementation Board will be set up to oversee and monitor progress.