Cameron Smith, Receptionist at SCLD, talks to us about a visit he made to the Czech Republic to find out how supported employment works there…
Supported employment is about helping people with learning disabilities and/or autism get and keep a job. It is also about supporting people to choose what jobs they want to do and find out how they can learn new skills.
My trip to Prague started with a phone call from Maura, the Deputy Chief Executive of SCLD, asking me if I wanted to join some of the Values Into Action Scotland (VIAS) team on a visit to the Czech Republic. The company who organised the trip were called Rytmus, a Czech supported employment and inclusion organisation. Previously they had come to Scotland to see how we offered supported employment services – and now they were inviting us to come and see how they do things.
Once I arrived in Prague I went to lots of workshops and found out the similarities and differences between supported employment in the Czech Republic and Scotland. Rytmus focus on the following things when they are providing supported employment services to the people they support:
- Getting and developing social and working skills
- Getting and keeping a job in a mainstream workplace
- Achieving as much independence for the person being supported as possible
- Strengthening people’s rights and their involvement in society
What came out of my visit was the importance of supported employment services working together and sharing good practice, whether nationally or internationally. At the workshops we talked about ways of doing this and decided the following things were important:
- Trying to meet up once a year
- Working together and sharing supported employment practices in Europe and other countries at the 12th European Union of Supported Employment Conference in Lisbon in 2015
If you would like to know more about supported employment in Scotland there is an area on the SCLD website where you can find out more. There is also information about local and national supported employment providers in Scotland.
On a personal note, although I did not get time to see all of Prague, the bits I did get to see were beautiful – I would recommend going to visit!
If you would like to contact Cameron to find out more about anything in this blog you can do so on:
Phone: 0141 559 5720