The Sustainable Hub for the Innovative Employment of Individuals with Complex Needs

The ‘Sustainable Hub of Innovative Employment for people with Complex Needs’ (SHIEC) project aims to support genuine paid employment for people with learning disabilities who have additional complex needs. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, those with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and people with learning disabilities and histories of mental health problems or offending behaviour. SHIEC is a hub of individuals and organisations in the South East who are working together to achieve this.

The project aims to identify and support a range of employers to employ adults with learning disabilities and additional complex needs and to utilise existing employment support and pathways and make these work for everyone. A supportive network comprising of provider organisations, educational services, family carers, policy makers and academics meet on a regular basis to develop and share materials and to discuss progress, barriers and solutions regarding pathways to employment for people with complex needs. 

To date, SHIEC has workied with 36 people across the UK, all of whom now have completed vocational profiles. Of these, 7 people are in paid employment and 6 have engaged in voluntary placements.

SHIEC aims to use the learning from the project, developing materials and resources which can be used in future to ensure sustainability of the pathways to employment for people with complex needs.


The work of SHIEC is currently on hold whist the project is undergoing a full review and evaluation.


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