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Jobs First Evaluation: Helping people with learning disabilities to get paid jobs

Research output: Book/ReportReportpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
PublisherKing's College, London
Number of pages12
Published2014

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Abstract

Purpose of the study
Jobs First was announced within the New Opportunities white paper (HM Government, 2009) and was a key commitment within the Valuing Employment Now strategy (HM Government, 2009). The evaluation aimed to: compare employment outcomes for the cohort of Jobs First participants with a matched comparison group; identify factors and approaches that facilitate and hinder employment of people with learning disabilities; and explore the processes involved in implementing the focus on employment for people with learning disabilities, particularly the challenges in ‘braiding’ funding from different streams.

Timescale
2010 - 2013

Methods
The evaluation involved two distinct strands. 1) A comparison study, in which the employment status and support needs of people with learning disabilities using Jobs First will be compared over time against a group of people who receive standard services. 2) Interviews with a wide range of stakeholders including: people with learning disabilities; their carers; social care professionals; school and employment service staff; Jobs First leads; job coaches and employers.

Findings
Jobs First was consistently described as a spur for sites to progress efforts to change attitudes and to promote employment. The availability of supported employment services and changes in public and employer attitudes were seen as the most important factors in encouraging more people with learning disabilities to seek and get paid jobs. Ensuring that enough money was allocated to supported employment, whether from social care or other funding streams, was a key challenge. It was hard to draw multiple funding streams into a single individual budget to pay for supported employment.

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