The Benefits of Supported Employment to Employers

Posted 18/04/2024

Thera has a strong focus on supported employment. Here, we explain the benefits of supported employment to potential employers.

Many of Thera’s subsidiary charities have a strong focus on supported employment. Supported employment encourages and supports people with a learning disability into paid work. Thera East Anglia are proud members of BASE who are the leading voice of the supported employment sector. They describe supported employment as:

Supported Employment has been successfully used for decades as a personalised model for supporting people with significant disabilities to secure and retain paid employment. The model uses a partnership strategy to enable people with disabilities to achieve sustainable long-term employment and businesses to employ valuable workers.

Thera East Anglia focus on supported employment to counter the inequality in employment statistics within the UK. Less than 5% of people with a learning disability are in paid employment despite having much to offer. Sam Avery, one of our Service Quality Directors, recently discussed her own frustrations in finding a role stating that “employers just say ‘we don’t know how to help you.’ It’s so frustrating. I’m capable and motivated. What happens if you need support?”.

Sara Danby, Group Lead Director for Quality and Involvement at Thera, discusses the importance of it:

It’s integral to societies and communities to be well rounded. We need to employ people with wide ranges of experiences. People with a learning disability have a huge amount to offer that often goes overlooked.

But supported employment not only benefits the candidates employed. Research has shown it has significant benefits for employers. In a paper published in 2017, Mencap found that by embracing supported employment, employers can see benefits such as:

  1. Increased staff morale
  2. Access to a larger pool of potential recruits
  3. Improves customer loyalty and retention
  4. Attracts more customers.
  5. Employers have reported improved public image (particularly important for local or regional business)

Along with Unity Works, Thera East Anglia, are leading the charge of helping people into supported employment. Terri Dumont, Supported Employment Manager for Thera East Anglia, is currently organising a reverse jobs fair to give local employers the opportunity to meet candidates from a talent pool they may other wise miss. She said:

Thera East Anglia’s supported employment programme aims to find enriching and meaningful employment opportunities across all sectors for people with a learning disability that have been recognized as ready to work. With less than 4.8 % of people with learning disability in employment, we aim to support individuals and employers to embed inclusive recruitment practices into the heart of the workplace.

Thera East Anglia have had many successes with local employers. Recently, Terri and Thera have helped a young man named Ashley begin work at Scotsdale Garden Centre. They assisted Laura, a young woman they support, into being offered two separate jobs. She accepted one at a local school. They have also supported a lady called Sarah into work at a local bar.

These experiences show the range of employment opportunities suitable for the people that Thera East Anglia supports.

If you are interested in attending Thera East Anglia’s reverse jobs fair please contact Terri Dumont at