It’s a short paper worth reading in full, so below are just a few quick reflections.
- Recognising disabled people as a seriously under-used resource that can contribute to the UK’s position in the “global race” and our overall economic performance is an excellent frame
- It’s hard to argue with the conclusion that the general and specialist work programmes aren’t working for the people who need them most because they’re, erm, not working! The data brought together to show this is the case is excellent and thorough.
- The programmes are also incredibly poor value for money. At a time when there’s even more need for every £1 to be spent well, we should ensure as many of those £1s are spent on interventions that are known to work for people who need them (such as Individual Placement and Support, IPS, for people with mental health problems)
- Where to start with end-to-end, behemoth providers? Let’s just stick with (a) they don’t make the most of the expertise that other providers have when it comes to specialist employment support; and (b) they don’t enable personalised approaches (possibly because they don’t get personalisation?)
- There’s a significant role for peer support to play in supporting people into and retaining employment.
One final point: it’s great to see the report’s recommendations pushing so hard for personalised approaches in employment. There has been a tendency for personalisation to be seen only in the context of health and social care ; important as it is in those policy areas, personalisation is something we must strive for in public sector provision that affects all areas of disabled people’s lives.