Government and Unite the Union have reached an agreement to review the Supported Employment Scheme currently in place.

The scheme has been successfully used since the GSLP/Liberals came into power in 2011 as a personalised model for supporting people with significant disabilities to secure and retain paid employment. The model uses a partnership strategy to enable people with disabilities to achieve sustainable long-term employment and businesses to employ valuable workers.

Part of the agreement reached with Unite will see employees of the scheme achieve equalisation of terms and conditions with the placement employer. It was also agreed to explore the possibility of extending the scheme to support other disadvantaged groups such as young people leaving care, ex-offenders and people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse.

Both HMGOG and Unite share the view that work plays a pivotal role in defining an individual's quality of life and must be an integral part of a person's overall life experience. Supported employment offers an innovative process that enables employment as an achievable goal for people with disabilities just as it is for non-disabled people in our society.

Real jobs means that the terms and conditions for people with disabilities should be the same as for everyone else including equal employee benefits, safe working conditions and opportunities for career advancement. This model has at its heart the notion that anyone can be employed if they want paid employment and sufficient support is provided. The model is a flexible and continuous process, designed to meet all anticipated needs.