Welsh employment support services extended

The Out of Work Service and In-Work Support Service, which are helping Welsh people to rebuild their lives, will be extended until 2025.

The Out of Work Service helps the most vulnerable and those "furthest away from the labour market". It is specifically focused on providing long term support to people recovering from mental health or substance misuse issues. The service provides support through a national network of peer mentors – people who have themselves recovered from issues such as mental ill-health or substance misuse. 

First launched in August 2016, the service has helped over 4,000 people to gain a qualification or work related certificate, helped over 2,400 search for work, over 1,600 people into work and a further 1,700 people to increase their employment chances by completing work placements or volunteering opportunities.

£1.3m in funding will go to expanding the In-Work Support service, which provides free access to physiotherapy, psychotherapy and occupational support to people with mental and physical health conditions.  It plays a vital role in helping people to retain employment by aiming to prevent people from becoming absent from work due to a mental or physical health condition, and to help those on a sickness absence to return to work more quickly. 

The services has helped people in Gwynedd, Ynys Mon, Conwy and Denbighshire in North Wales and in the Swansea Bay area, and has recently been extended in to the Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion areas. 60% of participants who have used this service have reported an improvement in their health since seeking advice.

Following a successful pilot, funding will be given to extend the ‘I Can Work’ Individual Placement Support project in North Wales. The service delivers integrated health and employability support to people recovering from mental health into employment, with a particular focus on 16-24s. 

Preventing people from not taking up work or falling out of employment because of a health condition is a key aspect of the Welsh Government’s Plan for Employability and Skills.