The Development of Supported Employment in Scotland

Ridley, Julie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0879-308X and Hunter, Susan (2006) The Development of Supported Employment in Scotland. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 25 (1). pp. 57-68. ISSN 1052-2263

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:


Supported employment is consistently identified as an effective employment or practice model. Its economic, social and other benefits are well documented, although several studies show variable outcomes especially in terms of economic benefits. It has been claimed that supported employment is widely implemented, not only in the United States, but also in many European countries including the UK and Scotland. However, this paper uses findings from research commissioned in Scotland to investigate the range of employment support available to people with learning disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and shows that for the majority, their aspirations for real paid jobs remain unfulfilled. Indeed, some of what currently passes for supported employment would not meet international conventions for defining supported employment. The findings are discussed in the context of a literature review of best practice.

The research identified examples of good practice, which provide just cause for celebration and fertile ground for growth. Nonetheless, the inconsistencies found arguably demonstrate that implementation of the model is weak or variable at best, which undermines the potential benefits of supported employment. Better and consistent implementation and, consequently, better outcomes from supported employment requires greater emphasis to be placed on self-determination, person centred planning, a career based approach and quality job development, all ensuring that the person remains at the centre of the process. Establishing a UK definition of, and quality standards in, supported employment would be beneficial.

Repository Staff Only: item control page