Bradford District Care Trust has joined forces with the Centre for Mental Health to offer more people help with employment.

The Care Trust has been chosen to pilot Making Work Work – A project that will support more people with mental health problems to gain employment when they would like to work.

The Making Work Work project will attract least 120 people across Bradford, Airedale and Craven using the Care Trust’s mental health services to the project, aiming to support 60 of them into paid work.

Nicola Lees, Deputy Chief Executive at Bradford District Care Trust, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this pilot project which will support people with long-term mental health conditions to get work.

“Professionals will support people to make an informed choice about work and will provide practical and emotional support to access and sustain paid employment.”

The project will be piloted across 6 areas including Bradford and will help a total of 340 people into work over 3 years by extending the highly effective Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach to supported employment into areas of the country where it is not yet widely available.

The Department of Health funded project will provide training for new employment specialists and clinical teams which will in turn support people into employment of their choice. This includes job seeking support, practical support such as managing travel to work, helping individuals manage their symptoms when returning to work and ongoing support in the workplace.

Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan said: “Only 7% of people using mental health services are in employment yet we know that more than half would like the chance to work with the right support. IPS has been shown to enable at least 50% of people into jobs and to help sustain them. Yet there is currently a postcode lottery in access to IPS. Making Work Work will help to address this gap in provision.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to extend IPS to people using mental health services in more parts of the country.

“The project will offer people help with both health and employment based on the eight principles of IPS. These include having no exclusions and no compulsion for people to take part; rapid job search based on a person’s preference with support for them and their employer as long as it’s needed when they start work; and providing health care and benefits advice alongside employment support.”