£12m pledged to help thousands across Greater Manchester find work

Cllr Eamonn O'Brien

A further £12.4m has been pledged to help thousands more people across Greater Manchester find jobs.

The funding from the Department of Work and Pensions is to be invested in Greater Manchester’s Working Well Work and Health programme over the coming two years.

It will target people who struggle to get a job because of their health or a disability.

The scheme aims to help 7,375 people who may be facing complex barriers to find a job, and to provide help for up to six months after successful applicants enter employment.

Greater Manchester has used its devolved powers to set higher standards for support services than the national average, for example.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council and Greater Manchester’s lead for work and skills, said: “The Working Well family of services has been one of the great successes of our unique devolution deal here in Greater Manchester.

“Having local control over funding for skills and health puts us in the best possible position to work with people here, identify the issues they might be facing, and offer tailored support to help them get on in life.”

He added: “Good work is good for people’s health. It’s also clearly good for our economy and good for communities. I’m pleased that we have been able to agree this contract extension and that thousands more people will benefit and be helped into work as a result.”

Among the people helped into work are Sophie Teal, who was supported to overcome her anxiety and land a job as a software engineer, and Kathleen McMurray, who got back into working in retail after being given help with her CV and IT skills.

Sophie said: “I will never forget the impact that the Work and Health Programme has had on my life and career,” while Kathleen added: “I now feel more content and better in myself.”

All participants are provided with individually tailored and personalised support from their own dedicated key worker.

Staff in each of the 10 Greater Manchester councils work with the advisors to link with the local specialist support organisations that can help people on their journey back to work.

Around 21,900 people have been helped through the Working Well Work and Health programme between 2018 and 2022, resulting in 9,209 people starting new jobs.

The Working Well services also support Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy. A key goal of this is tackles health inequalities and brings more people into the workforce.

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