England and Wales - Work and Health Programme
One-to-one support with a dedicated employment advisor
Who did it?
This initiative was developed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Although delivery is by public, private and voluntary providers, participants are referred by their work coach via Jobcentre Plus
Where are we drawing the evidence from?
Information sourced from:
- The Guidance Work and Health Programme statistics: background information and methodology section of the UK government website, updated February 2023
- This 2019 report by SQW refers specifically to the experience of jobseekers in London, London Work and Health Programmes evaluation - Theme A report
What kind of support was it?
One-to-one support with a dedicated employment Key Worker / Advisor
Where did it run?
England and Wales
When did it run?
Still current (March 2023). Roll out began between November 2017 and April 2018
Who did it serve?
People with disability, people who were out of work, carers, homeless people, former members of HM armed forces, a member of the HM armed forces reserves, partners of a current or former member of HM armed forces, care leavers, young people in a gang or at risk of being involved with a gang, refugees, victims of domestic violence, people who are dependent (or have been dependent) on drugs or alcohol, ex-offenders who have completed a custodial or community sentence, offenders serving a community sentence
What were its key features?
- identifying the individual’s employment needs
- matching their skills to work that’s available
- contact with employers
- finding long-term employment training to help look for work
- support for people with a health condition or disability and management of health problems to reduce their impact on work
- providers support participants for up to 15 months. This may be extended for a further 6 months providing in-work support
- voluntary programme unless out of work and claiming unemployment benefits for 24+ months
What were its outcomes?
The 2019 SQW report cited above is just the first of a 3-part evaluation and focuses on the experience of people living in London. Theme A looks at the match between participant characteristics and programme design/support available. It notes that:
- There is a declining base of Jobcentre Plus customers who are eligible for referral, and some work coaches are reluctant to refer because of previous negative feedback from other customers
- The referral process is complex which has a negative impact on referral to third party organisations
- The people referred to the programme are different from what had been anticipated, described as ‘less employable overall’ than expected. This is because:
- The proportion of long-term unemployed referrals has been higher. This is the only group whose attendance can be mandated
- The number of people aged over 50 has been higher. Over 50s are more likely to face health issues and therefore harder to support back to work
- Some miscommunication about the programme was problematic and needed to be resolved. Attendance by providers at Jobcentres was seen as a positive step in easing the process.
- Feedback relating to providers was positive in relation to information gathering and effective signposting
- Participants reported increased levels of confidence and general well-being
- The level of people entering work and reaching the earning thresholds was lower than anticipated. This was attributed to the number of barriers faced by some participants prior to engaging with the programme, and the unwillingness of some participants to seek work