Future Funding for Disability Employment Services
Uncertain times ahead!
NIUSE Policy Group launches briefing paper “Future Funding for Disability Employment Services”
Following the UK’s decisions to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016 the UK Government committed to keep in place the current European Social Fund arrangements until they expire (2022) and create a “successor” fund – UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which will replace European Structural Funds.
With no NI Assembly in place and the clock ticking the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE), Policy Group has launched a briefing paper outlining their concerns and potential opportunities regarding the proposed new fund. The Briefing also looks at why employment matters and the barriers that disabled people face accessing and staying in employment.
The Briefing paper acknowledges the substantial benefit that the European Structural Funds has made to the lives of disabled people and this is illustrated in the paper through case studies.
Speaking at the launch Norman Sterritt, Chair NIUSE said that “European Social Fund Programme is the main source of funding in Northern Ireland funding vocational training and employment services for people with disabilities. We need to ensure that N Ireland is represented at the discussions, design and planning for the new funding programme. To provide future programmes to support disabled people to access and stay in employment”.
The Briefing Paper calls for key actions to ensure that people with disabilities in Northern Ireland are represented and taken in to account in any future funding programmes.
The NIUSE Policy Group advocates for and collectively provides employment support to almost 4000 people with a disability in Northern Ireland (in 2018/2019) across 16 organisations. The Briefing Paper has been produced by Mary Anne Webb, Mencap in conjunction with the Policy Group members.
For further information contact NIUSE on firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02871377709 @niuse_tweets #NIUSEPolicyGroup #UKSPF #SupportedEmployment
Quick Key Facts:
- More than one in five (300,000) people in Northern Ireland has a disability.
- 33% of disabled people are in employment, less than half the rate of non-disabled people.
- People with a disability are one of the most economically inactive group who face significant barriers when trying to access employment. Providing work experience can support disabled people to start their journey to employment.