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Previous Programmes

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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 the 'Working Well' programme package, local services worked with expert agencies to deliver individual support, focusing on specific barriers to employment.

The programme combined physical and mental health support and advice on drug and alcohol problems, skills, education, and housing. Each unemployed programme participant had their own keyworker (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.

The support organisations were only fully paid when the programme participant had been in work for at least a year.

On the Working Well: Pilot over 600 people found work, many of which continued working for 12 months or more. Additional benefits, such as improved health and reduced antisocial behaviour, were also positive outcomes seen in the programme.

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 the Working Well pilot to 15,000 more people through the Working Well: Expansion. 

The same support was provided for more people, but this time to an improved standard. Using the lessons learnt from the initial Working Well: Pilot, the way different services work together to meet the precise needs of every person on the programme was altered to work in a more streamlined and efficient fashion. For example, new routes into the programme were introduced (such as recommendations from GPs).

The Working Well: Expansion’s keyworker provision was delivered by Ingeus and The Growth Company with bespoke Working Well Mental Health Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) support provided by Greater Manchester West NHS Trust in the form of the Working Well: Talking Therapies Service (TTS). Working Well: TTS ended in late 2018 having supported 1,522 Working Well: Expansion clients and a further 50 Working Well: Pilot clients. A Skills for Employment service was also delivered by The Growth Company. 

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 Working Well: Pilot, the expanded programme offered up to three years of support (including one year of in-work support). In total the programme supported 3,000 people into work.

Working Well: Job Entry Targeted Support

As part of the devolved Working Well: Work and Health programme, Working Well: Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) began taking referrals from October 2020, and ran until April 2023, supporting nearly 20,000 Greater Manchester residents who were unemployed for 13 weeks or more and were in receipt of benefits.

Working Well: JETS was a light touch programme, with monthly interventions being primarily conducted remotely. Support was provided to its participants around CVs, job applications, identifying transferable skills, and confidence building, along with additional links and signposting to support around mental health, skills, and debt.

The primary focus was to support employability with a sector-based approach and response to local priorities. The programme provided fast-paced continuous support for a maximum of 182 days, aiming to get programme participants back into work within 6 weeks.

The programme was highly successful and achieved well above its expectations, moving over 10,000 residents into work.

Working Well: Early Help

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester NHS Integrated Care Partnership worked together to co-develop and commission the Working Well: Early Help programme.

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

The £6.5m programme went live in March 2019 and ran until March 2022 and was delivered by MAXIMUS (UK) across all 10 localities. Working Well: Early Help was a unique service that did not have a national competitor. This is because it combined:

  • A health-led model focused on addressing health conditions and wider social determinants of health to enable individuals to move back into work.
  • The focus on early intervention to facilitate a quicker return to work and reduce the risk of long-term unemployment. The Flexible Test and Learn approach allowed the programme to respond to the newly unemployed who have been impacted by Covid-19 and poor health.
  • Rapid access to services (CBT and physiotherapy) for which there are long waiting times on the NHS.
  • Support for both SME employers and employees including advice and confidence building for programme participants to negotiate a return to work. The flexibility within the programme allowed for support to businesses impacted by Covid-19, such as care and the night-time economy, to be given.
  • A direct pathway for participating GP practices to refer in patients who were in receipt of a Fit Note to support a return to work.

Working Well: EnterprisingYou

Working Well: EnterprisingYou was a £7.7m test and learn pilot programme designed to support Greater Manchester residents who were self-employed or working within the gig economy. Part funded by the Department for Education; it was the only programme in England to support those working in the gig economy. Launched in February 2020, the programme ran to September 2023, supporting over 3,100 people across its lifetime.

Working Well: EnterprisingYou was designed to support people who were self-employed to develop and sustain their business, increase their skills levels and raise their income potential. The programme was delivered by The Growth Company in partnership with PeoplePlus.

For individuals accessing the programme, the service provided tailored support from a business coach, alongside access to specialist advice and guidance, which included help with managing personal finances, accessing legal advice, health and wellbeing support, careers advice and access to a peer-mentoring scheme. Free access to co-working space across Greater Manchester was also available for everyone on the programme should they have needed it, providing the opportunity for the use of office, meeting and networking space for those without their own dedicated premises.

All participants on the programme also had access to a wide range of fully funded training and development opportunities to support them to grow and develop their business. This could be anything from cyber security training to digital marketing, or an industry specific course that helped maximise their business potential.  Access to these training courses was bespoke based on their individual needs.

The Federation of Small Businesses used Working Well: EnterprisingYou as a positive case study with recommendations to government that it should continue and be expanded nationally.

Find out more by visiting Enterprising You (external website)