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Exploring a non-universal understanding of waged work and its consequences: sketching out employment activation for people with an intellectual disability

Dearing, Kim 2021. Exploring a non-universal understanding of waged work and its consequences: sketching out employment activation for people with an intellectual disability. Evidence and Policy 17 (2) , pp. 261-277. 10.1332/174426421X16140992285741

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Abstract

Background: Supported Employment has been advocated for by successive governments and policymakers alike as the best approach to employment inclusion for people with an intellectual disability who are in receipt of social care. Yet only 5.2% of this demographic are in any form of work and these numbers have been persistently stagnant for many years. Aims: This study aimed to explore the employment landscape and grapple with the intersecting layers of policy consequence for people who have an intellectual disability, and are in receipt of social care, who wish to engage with work preparation employment support. Methods: As an active participant in the field, this study was ethnographic and conducted at a new job club that had been established in England. In addition, three further sites of complementary data were explored in Wales, through interviews and focus groups. Findings: This study demonstrates that there is a mismatch between how evidence informs policy, and how funding is allocated to support with work preparation. Those unable to secure Supported Employment services are, instead, navigating extreme employment disadvantage and scant opportunities, in the open labour market. Further, bound up in this analysis is evidence of a non-universal understanding of waged work where any form of financial remuneration is welcome. Discussion and conclusion: Overall, with a mismatch between evidence that informs policy, policy rhetoric, realistic employment prospects, and available work, without a fundamental employment policy shift, the very low employment rates within this demographic will not increase.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Policy Press
ISSN: 1744-2648
Funders: ESRC
Date of Acceptance: 23 February 2021
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 10:00
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/140386

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