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Individual placement and support

WORKWAYS uses the evidence-based Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach and is a Centre of Excellence in supporting people who use mental health services for employment.

This means our service is open to people who want to work and is focussed on what each person wants to do. Our Employment Specialists help people who have a Care Coordinator to look for work. We cover the whole of Devon (excluding Plymouth.  

  • IPS is based on the best available evidence about what works to support people with mental health conditions into work. It is different from other approaches because:
  • An Employment Specialist (ES) is fully integrated into the clinical team, and jointly supervised by the team manager, so that there can be a team approach to supporting people who use services to achieve their employment goal.
  • Competitive employment is the primary goal – individuals are not asked to take part in lengthy pre-vocational training or sheltered work.
  • Job search begins quickly (within one month) after a person engages with the service. Supporting people to develop work skills on the job is more effective than preparation in a sheltered environment.
  • People using services decide when they are ready to start the job search process. Anyone who is interested is eligible for support – motivation to work is an important predictor of success.
  • The focus is on job matching based on an individual’s choices and preferences about types of work, location, number of hours worked, disclosure etc. Unsurprisingly people tend to stay employed longer in jobs that meet their preferences.
  • In-work support is provided to the individual and the employer on an on-going basis, and assistance is provided if individuals want to change jobs.