Engage to Change: The First Four Years Evaluation Report
Engage to Change are delighted to launch the latest evaluation report on the project “Engage to Change: The First Four Years”.
Key Findings from the report include:
- People with a learning disability and/or autism can work if they have the right job and the right support. The most effective support is specialist and provided by a Job Coach within a Supported Employment Model.
- The employment rate for people with a learning disability is 5.1% and 22% for people with autism in England. Wales statistics are likely to be similar. The employment rate for the main Engage to Change project is 25%, for the Engage to Change DFN Project SEARCH internship sites 44%, and 35% for all forms of internship, which are proving to be very effective.
- The main outcomes reported by families and young people are enhanced independence and confidence, improved reported mental health, improved quality of life, positive feelings such as self-respect and pride for being in work and improved social inclusion.
National and Welsh Governments can help make these outcomes more widely available to people with a learning disability and/or autism by recognising the business, social and economic benefits of inclusive employment and promoting these with businesses, communities and relevant departments.
We suggest a number of strategies including:
- Legislate and fund a National Supported Employment Programme and an Inclusive Internship Programme for Wales, which would be accessible to anyone with a learning disability and/or autism in Wales, to ensure everyone who wants to work reaches their full potential to be employed.
- Recognise that some services meant to prepare people for work are not effective and that government could disinvest from this services and fund what works in getting, and maintaining people in, employment.
- Maximise use of the Access to Work scheme alongside Supported Employment and Internships as a flexible support budget that can help create a level playing field for disabled people in relation to work. Access to Work can be used to overcome barriers to employment from poor transport, inaccessible workplaces, and to help with specialized equipment.
The full report and key summary are available full in English, Welsh and Easy Read versions below