Combining Supported Education With Supported Employment

About the study

This study examined a pilot project in Israel that combined supported employment with supported education to help people suffering from severe mental illness find employment in skilled vocational occupations. The study highlights key components of the two support streams that have been specially integrated to provide vocational preparation for this particular client group.


What can be learned from this study?

• This unique pilot project is intended to demonstrate the combination of supported education and supported employment approaches to help individuals with severe mental illness find gainful employment in vocational occupations. It provided people with severe mental health problems with a 3-month preparatory supported education program to learn cognitive and basic skills, such as computer and social skills, to be better prepared for skilled vocational occupations. Participants were then offered job search assistance from a social worker who continued to provide on-the-job counseling and liaison support.

• The participant outcomes indicate that this combined approach is promising and has the potential to change the way in which supported employment programs are delivered in the future. Of the original 96 participants who volunteered for the project, 53 proceeded to vocational training, with 15 having completed their course and 31 continuing their program at the end of the two-year data collection period. Of the 15 participants who completed their course, 6 were employed in the vocation of their choice, while the remaining 9 individuals continued to be involved in a range of pre-employment activities.

• A similar project was implemented in London, Ontario in 2009 and the qualitative results of this project will be published separately.


What method(s) did the study use?

An outcomes analysis of a combined intervention (supported employment & supported education) conducted at the Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Center in Israel. A total of 96 individuals with severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia volunteered for the project.