An initiative that matches potential job seekers with roles that suit their professional strengths and ambitions is already proving successful after just eight months.
The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programme, which is run by Humankind, is embedded into existing Gateshead and South Tyneside drug and alcohol treatment services and has helped 18 people to secure employment as part of their recovery from substance use.
Employment Specialists provide individually tailored support to help people find and choose the right job for them and stay in the role by continuing to work with both the employer and employee to ensure the placement lasts for as long as possible.
Speaking about the initiative, Jen Feckie, Lead Employment Specialist, said: “What makes IPS different is that we support our applicants at every step of the way, and we often find them jobs within a few weeks. We meet with people, help them develop their CV, prepare for interviews and continue to help them overcome any difficulties they may have once they’re in a role.
“We also work closely with employers to ensure that the applicants we put forward have the right skills and attitude for the roles, and we help them to understand the challenges of substance use and how to tailor job opportunities accordingly”, Jen added.
One such employer is Wallis Mews Care Home who has worked with the IPS team to recruit staff. Speaking about the process, Manager Lisa Gillis said: “I had several chats with Danielle from the IPS team about the kind of employee I was looking for. Experience and skills were not the most important thing to me, it was more important to find a person who was willing to learn, could offer flexible working and had a genuine passion for care. Danielle put forward a few suitable candidates and sent me across their CVs. I trusted her because I know she had a good understanding of our recruitment needs and more in-depth knowledge of the candidates.”
To date, 15 employers have recruited IPS applicants and have found that it’s reduced their recruitment time and costs, helped them find motivated employees who have the right skills and improved retention of staff.
Kate who secured work through IPS, described her experience: “Whilst working with my Employment Specialist, Adam, my confidence improved, and I could see myself returning to work. By using this support, I have now successfully gained full-time employment as a Procurement Purchaser. Adam believed in me from day one and I can’t thank him enough for the support and resources he has provided me with to enable me to achieve my employment goals. I am now feeling positive about my future both in my recovery but also in my career and I believe that gaining employment will have such a positive impact on my life”.
The IPS programme works with employers in a range of fields and is always keen to partner with more businesses and help them meet their recruitment needs.