Working Well

We want a prosperous, self-reliant Greater Manchester with high employment and a wealth of job and training opportunities.

But unemployment has been a problem in the region for three decades. A quarter of a million people claim out-of-work benefits here. It costs the country £1.4 billion per year plus the price of dealing with the social problems heightened by lack of work.

In response Working Well, a family of services that embody Greater Manchester’s devolved employment & health offer have been commissioned to support people experiencing or at risk of long-term unemployment. ‘Working Well’ refers to relationship of both employment and health and is grounded in the principles laid out in the Work, Health and Disability policy paper ‘Improving Lives’. In short ‘good work is good for your health’.

Since its inception in 2014, Working Well programmes have achieved employment outcomes for over 4,000 Greater Manchester residents (November 2018).

Working Well: Pilot

Established in 2014, the Working Well Pilot supported 5,000 people who were experiencing chronic/long term unemployment. They had been jobless for at least two years and had left the National Work Programme without finding a job.

As part of our 'Working Well' programme package, local services are working with expert agencies to deliver individual support, focusing on specific barriers to employment.

The programme combines physical and mental health support and advice on drug and alcohol problems, skills, education and housing. Each unemployed person had their own key-worker (provided by The Big Life Group or Ingeus) to help them get the right support at the right time, keep them motivated and develop their confidence and independence.

We only pay the support organisations fully when the person has been in work for at least a year.

On the Pilot over 600 people found work, many of which continued working for 12 months or more. We expect to see additional benefits like better health and reduced antisocial behaviour too.

Working Well: Expansion

In November 2014, as part of a wider devolution agreement, we committed to expanding the current Working Well project from 5,000 to 50,000 people. We started by expanding our Working Well pilot to 15,000 more people. 

We are not just providing the same support for more people but using the lessons we have learnt from the initial Working Well project to improve the way different services work together to meet the precise needs of every person on the programme. For example, there are new routes into the programme (such as recommendations from GPs).

The expansion’s key-worker provision is delivered by Ingeus and Manchester Growth Company (MGC) with bespoke Working Well Mental Health Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) support being provided by Greater Manchester West NHS Trust and skills for employment service by MGC. 

The Working Well Expansion aimed to support 2,500 into work by December 2019. In fact, the programme achieved this 18 months earlier than expected reaching nearly 3,000 by December 2018. Helping our residents sustain this work for the long-term will be a sure sign that we are taking the right steps to a brighter future.

As with pilot, the expanded programme will offer of up to three years of support (including one year of in-work support). Our goal will be to get 20% of people into work, 15% of whom should be in long-term employment. 

The Working Well: Work and Health Programme

Greater Manchester launched its Working Well (Work and Health Programme) in January 2018. The programme aims to support the long term unemployed and disabled people into sustainable employment across the city-region.

First announced as part of the 2014 Devolution agreement, Greater Manchester successfully negotiated for the opportunity to co-design, procure and deliver a localised version of the new Work and Health Programme. As a result, the £52 million programme will support nearly 23,000 individuals across Greater Manchester between 2018 and 2024.

InWorkGM deliver the Programme across Greater Manchester; an alliance partnership between Ingeus and The Growth Company, and also including specialist health, wellbeing and disability support organisations Pathways CIC and Pluss.

The programme offers over 200 different of health interventions through a key-worker based delivery model.

Similar to the Working Well programmes that precede it, the programme brings together expertise and local knowledge to include integrated health, skills and employment support, and offers all participants individually tailored and personalised support from their own dedicated key worker to support them on their journey back to work.

Integration with local services is at the heart of the Working Well (Work and Health Programme). An Integration Coordinator in each of the ten boroughs across the region works closely with Local Authority leads and key partners to understand the needs of participants, and maintain and create new partnerships with local providers or specialist organisations to ensure the right support is available at the right time.

Working Well: Early Help Programme

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership have been working together to develop and commission the new Working Well (Early Help) programme.

The purpose of the Working Well (Early Help) programme is to design and test an early intervention support system geared to support and advise individuals (with employment with health conditions or disabilities) who are at risk of falling out of work, or are newly unemployed due to their health complications and/or disabilities.

The programme will go live in March 2019.

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