Employment programmes

Employment programmes

Many local authorities either fund or provide Supported Employment services. There are also a wide range of national and local voluntary organisations providing specialist employment support. You can browse a list of our member organisations or you can view a map to find the nearest to you.

Schools and colleges also provide a range of courses aimed at gaining employment. These include Supported Internships, traineeships, Supported Apprenticeships, and regular apprenticeships. You can find details of local education support by looking at the Preparing for Adulthood pages of your local authority's "Local Offer". You'll find more information on our policy pages.

The Government funds welfare to work programmes to support people back to work. 


The Work and Health Programme

The Work and Health Programme is the Government's current welfare-to-work programme and it is aimed at people who are long-term unemployed or who have a disability or health condition. It replaced the Work Programme and Work Choice in early 2018. It is a voluntary programme and access to it is via your jobcentre. Information about starts and outcomes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/work-and-health-programme-statistics. Current providers are:

  • Shaw Trust (Central England and Home Counties)
  • Reed in Partnership (North East England)
  • Ingeus (North West England)
  • Pluss (Southern England)
  • Remploy (Wales)
  • InWork GM (Greater Manchester)
  • Shaw Trust (West London)
  • Ingeus (Central London)
  • Maximus (East London)
  • Reed in Partnership (South London)


Fair Start Scotland

If you live in Scotland then you can get support through the Scottish Government's Fair Start Scotland programme from April 2018. The key focus for the service will be tailored and personalised support for all those who participate. Key elements of the service are:

  • Participation will be entirely voluntary;
  • All participants can expect to receive in-depth action planning to ensure the support they receive is tailored for them and suits their individual needs and circumstances;
  • The service will offer pre-work support of 12-18 months;
  • The service will offer high quality in-work support for 12 months; 
  • Those who require specialist support to help them find work can expect to receive it;
  • There will be national standards to ensure everyone is supported consistently across the 9 geographic contract areas across Scotland;
  • For disabled customers who require intensive support, Supported Employment and Individual Placement and Support will be available.

Fair Start Scotland is delivered by the following providers:

  • City of Glasgow: People Plus Group Limited 
  • North and South Lanarkshire local authority areas: Remploy Limited 
  • Tayside (covers Perth and Kinross and Angus and Dundee): Remploy Limited
  • Forth Valley (covers Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire local authority areas): Falkirk Council in partnership with public sector partners Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council and NHS Forth Valley
  • East (covers Edinburgh, Midlothian, East and West Lothian, Fife and the Borders): Start Scotland Limited
  • South West (covers Dumfries and Galloway and the three Ayrshire local authority areas): Start Scotland Limited
  • North East (covers Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire local authority areas): Momentum Scotland
  • Highlands and Islands (covers Argyll and Bute, Eilean Siar, Highland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland): People Plus Limited
  • West (covers East and West Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire): The Wise Group


Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES)

The Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme will provide highly personalised packages of employment support for people who are at least a year away from moving into work. People on the scheme will get a dedicated key worker who will work with them to overcome complex barriers which may be preventing them from entering work, ensuring they have a personal support network in place.

The voluntary scheme will be rolled out across England and Wales in 2019, and applicants will receive support for up to 21 months, including 6 months of in-work support for those who get a job.

The following providers have been selected to deliver the programme:

  • Southern England: Fedcap
  • Home Counties: Shaw Trust
  • Central England: Shaw Trust
  • North West England: The Growth Company
  • North East England: Reed in Partnership
  • Wales: Remploy


Access to Work

Access to Work is a government-funded scheme that funds workplace support and workplace adjustments. Generally, the worker has to make a claim for support to help them to maintain or retain their job. This is done by contacting the Access to Work call centre on 0345 604 3349. 

It can be used to fund :

  • support for people working more than 16 hours per week
  • support for people working less than 16 hours a week but there is a one year limit on this support
  • support for people on a supported internship, apprenticeship or traineeship programme

There is a separate claims process for people undertaking supported internships.

The money can pay for things like:

  • adaptations to the equipment you use
  • special equipment
  • fares to work if you can’t use public transport
  • a support worker or job coach to help you in your workplace
  • a support service if you have a mental health condition and you’re absent from work or finding it difficult to work
  • disability awareness training for your colleagues
  • a communicator at a job interview
  • the cost of moving your equipment if you change location or job