Teresa Scott CEO of Kennedy Scott talks about their model for Help Back to Work for Unemployed Customers with Multiple Barriers to Employment

By CEO Teresa Scott There has been much controversy in the press concerning the Work Programme and its apparent lack of support for Customers on ESA. These customers need much more individualised and complex support to address multiple barriers to employment, many of which are not health related but are a result of a previous condition.

For example 40% of the unemployed customers attending the Kennedy Scott H2H centre in West London, between 2008-2011, suffered from secondary depression. This is hardly surprising when they may have had to deal with a long term debilitating condition or a serious health problem such as chronic back pain.

Unfortunately in many cases the depression and lack of confidence lives on, long after the initial problem, which led to their unemployed status, has been addressed or even cured. At Kennedy Scott our experienced staff worked hard to simultaneously address all of the issues holding customers back. This holistic approach using CBT counselling, Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Mobility advice, alongside Jobsearch support, advice and guidance has proven to be a highly effective approach to supporting ESA Customer’s back into sustainable employment.

In the past Employment support programmes have traditionally tried to deal with a customer’s barriers to employment consecutively not simultaneously and this has taken much longer. When an holistic approach is offered customers are so relieved to have “wrap around” support and very keen to address the issues which have been holding them back. Progress is then often very swift and highly effective. The Kennedy Scott H2H ESF Employment Support programme in West London achieved 34% job outcome results for ESA customers and was commended to the Ofsted Excellence portal.