On 1 March 2016, NPC hosted a roundtable with the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)—a body for the employment support sector which supports jobseekers into work—about plans for the government’s new Work and Health Programme.
Announced at the 2015 Spending Review, the Work and Health Programme will replace previous government initiatives the Work Programme and Work Choice. The new programme aims to specifically target people with disabilities or health conditions, and those who have been out of work for two years or more, with the view of helping them back into work.
This roundtable sought to draw out learning from a range of experts and employment support practitioners that should be considered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as it designs and commissions the Work and Health Programme. Participants included: charities and employment support providers; private sector organisations; civil service officials; and those who specialise in helping people who face particular conditions or barriers to the workplace.
As well as summarising key insights from sector experts, this paper makes a series of recommendations that we hope DWP will take on board when finalising its plans for the Work and Health Programme.