DISABLED people in Tameside are being offered help to find long-term work in a new support scheme being launched.
Those living with physical or mental conditions can now sign up to the Working Well Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (WW:IPSPC) programme.
Providing support to adults, it aims to help 1,500 from across the Greater Manchester region between now and March 2025.
A phased roll-out is underway, with teams now in place in Manchester, Rochdale and Salford with Tameside’s to follow in the coming months.
It aims to help people move into work quickly with personalised employment support and advice integrated with their normal health treatment.
Participants receive ‘place and train’ employment support, and they are referred onto the scheme by healthcare professionals such as GPs or can put themselves forward.
Employment specialists from The Growth Company will offer flexible one-to-one tailored support including rapid job search, liaising with employers, help with benefits, and bespoke careers advice based on skills and abilities.
In-work support is also available to people who are working but need help to maintain their job.
The Growth Company, alongside subcontractor Groundwork, is delivering the programme which will see 40 employment specialists work closely with NHS Primary Care clinical teams.
Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), WW:IPSPC will be delivered as part of its Working Well portfolio, which has a number of different programmes to meet needs around health and employment.
Rochelle Seddon, Operations Manager at The Growth Company, said: “What really sets WW:IPSPC apart is its holistic approach. Our team of dedicated employment experts will be integrated into NHS teams, to ensure that physical and mental health needs are considered every step of the way.
“This means that when, for instance, a GP refers an individual to an NHS clinician for mental health support, our specialists will work closely with the healthcare professional to provide tailored employment assistance.
“And the support doesn’t just stop when someone finds a job – we will give ongoing assistance once individuals are in work to ensure employers are best supporting their needs.
“This really will make a tangible difference in the lives of those facing health-related employment challenges, ensuring they have the tools and support needed to succeed in the workforce.
“We are excited about the positive impact this programme will have on the lives of individuals and the Greater Manchester community as a whole. It will really help to build a more inclusive workforce where everyone has the opportunity to contribute their skills and talents.”
Michelle Leeson, Managing Director of GC Employment, added: “The launch of this service couldn’t come at a more critical juncture, with the recent report highlighting the increasing need for such a programme.
“What’s unique about WW:IPSPC is that support is also available to those who are off work sick and also those in work who are struggling with their health.
“We know that many individuals with mental and physical health conditions want to work but need that extra bit of support and help.
“Through WW:IPSPC, we aim to empower adults in Greater Manchester, helping them overcome barriers and find meaningful, long-term work opportunities.
“At a time when the challenges of health and work have never been more pronounced, this programme’s integrated approach aligns perfectly with responding to the needs of our residents.
“It is not just about finding jobs but also about providing the necessary support for individuals to thrive in their chosen careers while managing their health effectively.”