Select Committee on Social Security Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1

Mencap's Pathway Employment Services have, largely in response to differing funders requirements, differentiated elements of service provision. However, key principles remain constant throughout all services, which are summarised below:

Services provide an integrated approach to assessing and meeting individual needs in the employment context.

The following elements are available to all clients. Following referral, each client is given confidential interviews. At these interviews, the candidate's ability, willingness and motivation to work towards entering the labour market is discussed and assessed. If the ability (determined by assessment), willingness and motivation are present, the individual will be offered support. On entry, various "Pathways" to employment are explored in more detail with the participant and an appropriate individual package of support is negotiated and agreed. These interviews will result in the drawing up of an individual action plan, which details the chosen and preferred options.

Participants will be able to access elements of the integrated "Pathway" from the following "menu". These elements are available to the participant as required. Some of these elements may be provided by others.

Basic Vocational Training

  • A detailed Task Analysis of all elements of a particular job leading to job specific training using Systematic Instruction techniques where appropriate.
  • Provision of off-the-job integrated training to prepare the beneficiaries for the particular demands of their chosen vocational area:
  • e.g.  Food Hygiene Certificate

Safe Manual Handling and Lifting

Customer Care Training

Social Skills including Life Skills

Intermediate Vocational Training

  • Job Coaching to learn how to carry out particular tasks in the workplace.

Higher Vocational Training

  • Access to National Vocational Qualifications in partnership with local further education providers.

Information Technology/Core Skill Support

  • An analysis of the communication skills required of the client in the working environment. An analysis will be made to consider the ways in which beneficiaries acquire new skills, knowledge and understanding and these will be taken into consideration when determining appropriate career choices.

Vocational Advice and Guidance

  • In depth interviews to establish previous job-related activity by each client.
  • Identification of a range of possible career intentions which the client wishes to examine further.
  • Clear information in an accessible format to enable the client to make an informed choice about their preferred career intention.

Individual Needs Assessment

  • A detailed analysis of the degree and nature of the individual support required by each client according to the demands of the chosen employment option.
  • An assessment of each individual's preferred learning style and communicative competence.

Individual Action Plans

  • Action planning with each client to detail appropriate steps to achieving personal work-related goals in specified time periods.
  • Action Plans will be under constant review and will be changed to reflect client needs and aspirations in the light of job-related performance towards set targets.
  • Clients will retain a copy of their Individual Action Plan and will be asked to sign significant entries and changes as agreed.

Motivation and Orientation

  • Individual guidance and counselling given to each client to increase motivation and provide orientation to a preferred career intention.
  • Opportunities to develop self confidence and self-esteem in group and 1:1 situations.
  • Opportunities to develop advocacy and self advocacy skills to promote autonomy and self esteem in the employment context.
  • Development of problem solving, decision making and team working skills.
  • Wage subsidy, by agreement with SPS contractors and help in calculating the impact of earnings on benefits.

Help into Self Employment

  • Help into self employment, where appropriate, including the consideration of work teams or co-operative developments.

Work Experience/Trials

  • Work Experience Opportunities with local employers who are part of Mencap's network of employer contacts.
  • Opportunities for Job Sampling to give clients the chance to make informed choices about the kind of job they want to do.
  • Individual support and monitoring during the early stages of work experience or job placement.
  • Work experience placements.

Job Search Assistance

  • Advice and information about job and training opportunities locally.
  • Job Search Skills including Units on "How to Find a Job" and "Interview Techniques".
  • Access to a register of local employment opportunities in conjunction with the ES.
  • Help into self employment, where appropriate, including the consideration of work teams or co-operative developments.
  • Liaison with other service providers (eg Social Services Departments, Job Centres, Employment Services personnel, Benefits Agency staff etc).

Grants to Individuals:

  • These will be considered and funding sources examined where appropriate.

Job Guarantee:

  • Job Guarantees will be negotiated with employers where possible.

In addition each service provides:

  • Targeted support to the employer to ensure that the impact of a person's disability is taken into account without this being seen as a barrier to employment. This will necessitate Disability Equality Training for front-line and Supervisory staff and a thorough analysis of the particular working environment which is proposed for each individual; i.e. levels of supervision; degree of self motivation required; nature and range of communication requirements; the need to function as a member of a team; the instances where job tasks and roles change and providing support to enable the client to cope with these changes.
  • Direct support to the employer and the individual beneficiary to ensure satisfactory job performance and to deliver skills training in context, i.e. directly on the job. These techniques are therefore passed on to work colleagues who can provide on-going and long-term support as required, with the available back-up of the Pathway Employment Officer as required.
  • Long term support to the family to ensure that concerns of parents, carers and siblings are taken into account. This ensures that the client receives positive support from those close to them to sustain motivation, deal with particular problems and provide positive encouragement.

The above represents elements of best practice in this field as developed by Mencap's Pathway Employment Service (recognised as the leading provider of specialist employment services). However, we fully recognise and embrace the need to continually reflect upon service delivery and development from all perspectives, including both those of employers and participants, in the design implementation, monitoring and review of services.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared 27 July 1999