This week marks one year since Mayor Andy Burnham launched the Working Well (Work and Health Programme) – an initiative that supports Manchester, Salford and Trafford residents from all walks of life, whether long-term unemployed, recently made redundant or facing challenges with disabilities or health conditions.
Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the programme is being delivered by the Growth Company (GC) alongside Ingeus as part of the InWorkGM partnership alliance.
Since its launch 12 months ago, Working Well has supported 1,134 vulnerable people across the three local authorities – and has successfully placed 316 of them into sustainable work.
Ian is just one of the people who has benefited from Working Well. Ian suffers with learning difficulties and is unable to read or write. He previously worked as a care worker – something which he loved – but was no longer able to do the job due to the large amounts of written work involved.
He felt that his dyslexia held him back, and he struggled to get the right support. He had been out of work for a while, and because of this his confidence and self-esteem plummeted. Ian needed some tailored support, and the Growth Company were able to help.
Ian was assigned a key worker who helped him with the sign-up process, then quickly identified that he needed a CV. This wasn’t a simple task since Ian struggled to remember the dates and duties of previous roles – however we worked with him to gather as much information about his past experience as possible and create a CV that would enable him to start applying for jobs.
We soon identified a suitable role for Ian, which was a cleaning vacancy at Kellogg’s. At first, he was nervous about travelling to the interview – so his key worker showed him exactly how to get there on the bus. This made Ian feel more at ease, and he agreed to go to the interview. We also made the employer aware of Ian’s situation, so they could support him in filling out any paperwork. However, it became clear that the commute would be unfeasible for him on a daily basis, so we began looking for opportunities closer to his home.
We were able to find a cleaning job just a 15-minute walk from where he lived, and managed to secure him an interview. Ian did so well at the interview that they offered him the position. He couldn’t wait to get started, and the employer emailed over all of his new starter documents so we could assist him in completing his paperwork. This broke down one of the biggest barriers Ian faced, and really helped him to feel more positive about starting his new job.
After his first shift, Ian was invited to complete an ‘in work support assessment’ – this allowed us to make sure that Ian was happy with his role, and had everything he needed to make the work sustainable. We’re pleased to say Ian settled in well and has received some great feedback from his manager. We continue to check on Ian regularly to see if there’s anything else we can support with.
Speaking of his experience of Working Well, Ian said: “I feel more confident in myself as I now feel that I have a purpose. I’ve always wanted to work but could never find the right job. I hope to stay in this role for the foreseeable future.”