Minister witnesses pioneering Work and Health programme

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It has been great to meet people in Liverpool who have benefitted from Ingeus’s innovative work.

Sarah Newton MP
Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work

Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, The Rt. Hon. Sarah Newton MP, visited the Ingeus office in Liverpool recently to meet the people being supported by the new Work and Health Programme.

The North West was the first area in the country to benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions’ new Work and Health Programme, which launched at the end of November 2017. It provides specialist support for unemployed people with health conditions or disabilities, as well as assisting individuals who have been out of work for a long time.

The Minister met Ingeus employees and determined jobseekers during her two-hour trip to the Derby Square offices. She witnessed at first hand the range of heath, employability and community-based support on offer as well as seeing the innovative digital tools being utilised.

She said: “It has been great to meet people in Liverpool who have benefitted from Ingeus’s innovative work. Work and Health Programmes are delivering vital support to people all over the country, helping them to find a job that’s right for them.

“I encourage all employers in Liverpool and across the UK to make the most of the unique skills and talents disabled people can bring to their organisation.”

Jobseeker Christopher Ryley met with Sarah Newton during her visit and, after 11 years of being out of work, was keen to show the help and support that he is receiving. Christopher lives in Lancashire and is looking for a job in either retail or an admin role.

He commented: “I have been with the Work and Health Programme since December 2017 and I am in a much better place now. I have had issues with anxiety and depression, but the staff have supported me and my confidence has really increased. I’ve been given access to different courses such as health management to handle my former anxiety.

“This programme is really different because it is about focusing on the individual person and their specific needs, rather than saying that one size fits all. That approach has not worked for me in the past.”

John Percival, aged 62, lives in Merseyside and has been trying to find employment for nearly five years. He would like to work in retail, gardening or commercial cleaning.

“I’ve applied for so many jobs. I can send 20 letters and I might get one letter back that says they will keep my name on file,” revealed John. “I started with the Work and Health Programme about six months ago and I have attended a retail training course and passed a Retail Level One qualification. I am updating my skills and there’s help with CV writing and mock interviews. I could not believe how interview techniques have changed. This training is the best thing I have done in a long time.”

A key element of the employability programme is its integration with local community organisations. The Ingeus Liverpool base is being increasingly used by other partners whose expertise and advice contribute to the Work and Health Programme in the North West.

Paul Blinkhorn, Ingeus’s Head of Delivery for Northern England said: “Working collaboratively from our central hub office locations means participants can access a wide range of specialist services much more easily in our offices and across community based co-locations. We know everyone we work with is different and so our joined-up approach means we can tailor our services to each individual, helping them find the right job at the right time.

“We were delighted to spearhead the roll-out of the Work and Health Programme here in the North West and more and more local people are now reaping the rewards of working life as a result.”