More than 2,600 residents with disabilities and long-term health problems across Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Derby are to receive employment support.

Nottingham City Council, in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and Derby City Council, has led a successful bid for £5.3m of Government funding to help people who are either out of work or find it hard to retain a job due to disability or physical and mental health issues.  

This new Department for Work & Pensions-funded Individual Placement Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) scheme, named Working Well – East Midlands, will be for people already known to health services and will work closely with existing providers.

There are more than 57,000 people not working due to long-term sickness across the three council areas – 14,400 in Nottingham, 10,300 in Derby and 33,200 in Nottinghamshire. This project will help improve their life chances and wellbeing.

Developed in collaboration with health partners and due to start in September, the IPSPC programme aims to bridge the gap between healthcare services and employment support, empowering people to overcome barriers and lead fulfilling working lives.

It will provide comprehensive support to individuals throughout their employment journey, offering:

  • Job placement assistance
  • Personalised coaching
  • Ongoing mentoring to help participants develop the necessary skills and confidence for sustainable employment
  • Close collaboration with employers to create inclusive workplaces that enable individuals to thrive

The launch of the IPSPC programme represents a significant step forward in enhancing employment opportunities and breaking down barriers for individuals with health conditions and disabilities in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Derby.

Through this collaborative effort, the programme aims to create a more inclusive society that values the contributions and abilities of everyone.

Councillor Steve Battlemuch, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth, Economic Development and Property at Nottingham City Council, said: “Opening up the world of work to people remains a key priority for us, but we understand that significant barriers can sometimes stand in the way of disabled people or those with long-term medical issues.

“As lead partners on the project, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure this significant grant to find new ways to remove these barriers, build confidence and provide both employment opportunities and further career development.

“This programme will stretch across the wider county and into Derby City, and will see us working closely with employers and job-seekers to help them thrive and grow. I look forward to seeing its progress over the coming months.”

Councillor Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Nottingham City Council, added: “We know that good-quality work supports people to live healthier lives. It can bring more financial security, improve wellbeing and the overall quality of life.

“This type of programme has proved effective in supporting people move into employment when poor health has been a barrier. We are delighted that this additional support will be available locally for those who want it.”

Councillor Keith Girling, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Asset Management, said: “We’re proud to be involved in this project which offers a full programme of employment support for those with health conditions and disabilities. This is a great opportunity to boost skills and confidence to help more people back to work or help them find their first job.”

Councillor John Whitby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills at Derby City Council, said: “Securing this funding is great news. Around a third of Derby citizens struggle to find work because of disability or illness – and we know that being in regular work can have positive effects on people’s health, so this will be a very valuable service.

“This programme will empower people living with health conditions to find and stay in suitable and satisfying work and improve the lives of people in our city.”

Nottingham City Council will shortly be looking for suitable organisations to help deliver this new programme. Interested organisations or health professionals wanting to know more about the programme can join an information session on Wednesday (12 July) between 11am and noon. Registration is via Eventbrite, which can be accessed using the link here.