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New Government support to help 25,000 people into work

People in north east and south east London will benefit from new employment support that is expected to help around 25,000 people nationally as part of the Government’s flagship Universal Support programme.

Launched on 13 September, Work and Health Programme Pioneer is the latest phase of Universal Support. Backed by £53 million funding, it will provide personalised help to disabled people and certain disadvantaged groups across England and Wales to find work as part of the Government’s plan to tackle economic inactivity and spread the benefits of employment more widely.

People in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest will be referred by local Jobcentres, council employment services, as well as Maximus, who are contracted by Local London to deliver the scheme in this part of London.

Local London Work and Health Programme Pioneer is designed to provide support to help people get into work quickly, whether they are receiving benefits or not, and expects to move thousands of people towards employment by September 2024.

Building on the success of the Local London Work and Health Programme, and the former Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme, which have helped over 15,800 people into work, Pioneer is ready to support people across the nine-borough partnership and expects to support over 1,000 people within 12 months.

Councillor Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, Chairman of Local London and Leader of the London Borough of Bexley said “Unemployment in this part of London tracks higher than London on average. We know many people need extra support to get into work and we welcome this vital support for people in our boroughs looking for work.

Local London has already been working behind the scenes with our delivery partner, Maximus, and employment teams across our nine boroughs to prepare for the roll out of this new scheme so that people can get help quickly either through Maximus, Jobcentre or their local council employment services.”

Gareth Parry, Programme Director for Employability at Maximus, said: “The launch of Pioneer gives us the opportunity to engage with thousands more people across the Local London area who may be out of work due to a health condition, caring responsibilities or their life circumstances, offering specialist, personalised support to opens up new careers and opportunities.

It is particularly well suited to people who may have left the labour market over recent years but are interesting in finding a job that suits their circumstances. We’d encourage anyone who’s interested to get in touch.”

For more information and eligibility visit: https://whpp.maximusuk.co.uk/london/

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Notes to Editors

Work and Health Programme Pioneer is the most recent phase of the Universal Support programme, announced as part of a £2bn package at the Spring Budget, which will help disabled people, people with health conditions and people with additional barriers to employment into sustained work.

Just one per cent of people in the Employment and Support Allowance ‘Support Group’ leave the benefit every month. Universal Support has been designed using the evidence of what works to help claimants overcome complex barriers to work, given that one in five people categorised as having “limited capability for work related activity” have said they would like to work at some point in the future. Similar interventions in the past have seen over one in three participants with disabilities helped into work.

As of September 2023, the ongoing Work and Health Programme, and the former Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) scheme, have helped over 15,858 people start work in our sub-region, comprising the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.


For Local London press enquiries, contact Helen McKay helen.mckay@redbridge.gov.uk

For Maximus press enquiries, contact Tom Hicks Thicks@maximusuk.co.uk

Logos for the Local London Work and Health Programme, Department for Work and Pensions, European Social Fund and Maximus.








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