Supported Employment

Since 2016, Consultis has focused on Supported Employment, a personalized model that helps individuals with significant disabilities secure and retain paid jobs. This model fosters partnerships between people with disabilities and businesses, promoting sustainable long-term employment. Supported Employment is also increasingly benefiting other disadvantaged groups, such as young people leaving care, ex-offenders, those recovering from substance abuse, people with mental health conditions, long-term unemployed individuals, and migrants.
Employment is crucial for quality of life and should be accessible to everyone. Supported Employment ensures that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities, including fair pay, equal benefits, safe working conditions, and career advancement.

The Model

The Supported Employment model is based on the belief that anyone can work if they want paid employment and receive sufficient support. This flexible and continuous process is designed to meet all anticipated needs. It also supports job retention by developing mechanisms for long-term sustainable employment. The Association for Supported Employment Europe (formerly the European Union of Supported Employment) has produced guides on this model.

Customer Engagement

Potential jobseekers often use traditional day services or receive support from health and social care agencies. Others may be isolated or at risk of exploitation. Each year, people leave education hoping to find employment, but historically, expectations for sustainable work among individuals with disabilities have been low. Raising these expectations across health and social care services is crucial.

Vocational Profiling

This process identifies a participant's aspirations, learning needs, skills, experiences, and job preferences. Carers and support workers are involved to create a holistic picture of the jobseeker. The profile aids in finding a high-quality job match, identifying suitable occupations, and supporting informed career choices.

Employer Engagement

Close engagement with employers helps overcome traditional recruitment barriers. Traditional recruitment methods can be rigid, and formal interviews rarely lead to job offers. Employers are increasingly valuing "working interviews," where individuals demonstrate their skills in the workplace, providing tangible evidence of their capabilities. Generally, the aim is to secure 'employment and training' rather than 'training then employment.' This approach places participants in jobs from the start, allowing them to learn skills in real work environments, overcoming the "job readiness" barrier, and increasing motivation by providing immediate employment.

Job Matching

After securing employer commitment, a job analysis is conducted to understand all aspects of the job and workplace, including health and safety. This analysis may lead to creating new job descriptions that suit the worker and are cost-effective for the employer. Additionally, the job analysis might identify ways to combine parts of different job descriptions to better match the worker's talents, ensuring a more effective and satisfying employment arrangement.

On and Off the Job Support

Support is tailored and targeted based on the job analysis and profile. Appropriate support levels are provided, involving the employer and co-workers. Induction, ongoing training, and out-of-work support are offered if needed, with individual goals recorded in a development plan.

Career Development

Supported Employment encourages career development by promoting training opportunities and options for increased responsibility, recognizing that people with disabilities, like everyone else, need to adapt to changing labour markets and seek better opportunities.

From 2018 to now, Consultis has operated two specialized Supported Employment centres: a Centre of Supported Employment Services and a Centre of Resources in Supported Employment. Since 2019, Consultis has been a member of the board of APEA, the Portuguese Association of Supported Employment, which is associated with the Association for Supported Employment Europe.