Launched on 13 September, the £53 million support will provide personalised help to people facing complex barriers to work across England and Wales as part of the Government’s plan to tackle economic inactivity and spread the benefits of employment more widely.
Work and Health Pioneer, is designed to provide support to help people get into work quickly, whether they are receiving benefits or not.
Referrals can be made for people in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest by local Jobcentres as well as Maximus UK who are contracted by Local London, acting on behalf of the nine boroughs to deliver the scheme in this part of London.
How the programme will work
Advisors at Maximus, council employment services and Jobcentre work coaches will make referrals to the new programme, and will be able to use their local networks to identify people who want to find work but are not yet being assisted by work coaches.
After an initial assessment, participants will be introduced to suitable employers based on their preferences, strengths and any lessons learned from previous work experience, to ensure they find a job that is right for them.
They will then receive wrap-around in-work support provided by a personal adviser in person and online as they start and sustain employment, which may include debt advice or help with networking or housing, and will include frequent engagement with their employer.
This is different to traditional employment support, as it ensures participants receive a job from the outset followed up by highly personalised support to overcome challenges as they arise, rather than having to train before being allowed to start employment.
Plans for the future
Universal Support will ramp up over time, expanding to support at least 50,000 people a year from 2025/26, and will include help with issues like managing health conditions, debt, and navigating any workplace adjustments required to accommodate individual needs.
The investment comes as the government is consulting on changes to the Work Capability Assessment, with proposals to ensure it is delivering the right outcomes for supporting those most in need. The consultation represents the next step in welfare reform, reflecting the rise of flexible and home working and better employer support for disabled people and people with health conditions – as well as new government help including Universal Support.
Read the DWPs press release
Discover more about the Local London Work and Health programme