UK EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT: The Work and Health Programme was first launched in November 2017.
Back then, the employment support programme was only available in North West England and in Wales.
The Work and Health Programme will roll out across other parts of England in the first few months of 2022.
The main aim is to provide practical support to help people find a job. Once you have found a job, it then focuses on helping you to stay in work.
In most cases, it is a voluntary scheme for various groups of vulnerable people. Those with health a condition or a disability can choose whether to take part or not.
But, it becomes compulsory for some groups. If you have been out of work and claiming unemployment benefits for 24 months you must join the scheme.
Note: Work and Health Programme is replacing several other employment support projects. The most noticeable are the Work Choice and Work Programme schemes.
Work and Health Programme Eligibility
You may qualify to join the programme if you are living in England or Wales and you are:
- A carer or a former carer.
- A care leaver (e.g. looked after by a local authority).
- A former member of the armed forces or an armed forces reservist. Eligibility also applies for the partner of a current or former member of the armed forces.
- A young person in a gang.
- A refugee.
- An ex-offender who already completed a custodial or a community sentence.
- An offender who is serving a community sentence.
- Dependent (or have been dependent) on drugs or alcohol if it prevents you from getting work.
- Disabled (check the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010).
- Out of work and have claimed unemployment benefits for 24 months.
- Someone who has been the victim of domestic violence.
Note: There is no requirement for you to have any rights to claim benefits to make an application.
Work and Health Programme Framework
What do you get if you join the Work and Health Programme? The personal support that you get will help:
- To identify and focus on your employment needs.
- To match your specific skills with any work that is available.
- Expose your skills to prospective employers.
- Secure long-term employment.
- With specialised training to help you find a job.
- To manage any health problems to reduce their impact on your work capabilities.
How to Apply for the Work and Health Programme
If you have a work coach they will confirm whether you are eligible for the Work and Health Programme. If not, make a visit to your local Jobcentre Plus branch. Tell them you would like to speak to a work coach about joining the Work and Health Programme.
Note: An expansion of the ‘Get help with technology programme’ will benefit around half a million care leavers and disadvantaged pupils. As a result, around ten thousand devices (namely laptops and tablets) are being made available to help educate and support children with a social worker as well as children arriving from Afghanistan.