Posted 12.6.2019

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.

Download the NIUSE Policy Group Briefing paper May 2019

For further information contact NIUSE on [email protected] Tel: 028 7137 7709 or Karen Smith in Disability Action [email protected] Tel: 028 9029 7880.

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment (NIUSE) is an umbrella organisation representing individuals and organisations promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged situations accessing and staying in employment using the Supported Employment model. Disability Action NI is a Member of the Policy Group.

The NIUSE Policy Group advocates for and collectively provides employment support to almost 4000 people with a disability in Northern Ireland (in 2018/2019).  This includes people with learning, physical, mental ill health, sensory, hidden disabilities and autism.  Members of the Policy Group includes Action Mental Health, Access Centre NI, AEL, Action on Hearing Loss, Appleby Trust, Cedar Foundation, Can Can,  Clanrye Group, Derry Youth and Community Workshop, Disability Action, Mencap, NOW Group, Orchardville, RNIB, Stepping Stones and RNIB.