The Opportunity to change minds.
the power to change lives.

What is Individual Placement and Support? (IPS)

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence based approach with a proven track record of supporting people with serious mental health difficulties to find the employment of their choosing.

70-90% of people with mental health issues would like to work, but only 37% are in paid employment. For people with severe mental illness, it’s just 8%.

Employment should be part of getting better, not a result of getting better. Start your career in IPS today, and join us in opening doors for individuals with mental health challenges and changing lives.

Change Minds. Change Lives.

Join our national Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service and you too, can have a life changing impact in your community.

Based on over 20 years of research, the Individual Placement & Support (IPS) employment model is internationally recognised as the most effective way to support people with mental health conditions, to gain and keep paid employment.

Getting into employment can be a vital part of a recovery journey and the IPS model is where an Employment Specialist (ES) works in a mental health team alongside e.g. psychiatric nurses, social workers and psychologists to help individuals get into work. The ES uses their contacts, initiative and skills to find employment opportunities, some of which are not advertised, and communicates with their colleagues to ensure clients can obtain and retain work effectively, whilst staying in good health.

You will work with a range of individuals in this role, but some of the key relationships will be with:

IPS Clients – You will work directly with individuals with mental health challenges to support them along their recovery journey through helping them secure employment

Community Mental Health Team – You will be part of the community mental health team, working alongside psychiatric nurses, social workers, psychologists and care coordinators to support your client to get into work.

Local Employers – You will be active in the local area, building relationships with local employers to identify the right job opportunities for your client and also providing in-work support to both your client and employer where necessary. 

There are IPS service providers across England. You can work as an IPS Employment Specialist and be employed by an NHS Trust, Local Authority or third sector organisation. See all the current opportunities across IPS here.

You don’t need to be a doctor to change a life. And you don’t need a clinical qualification to transform the life of somebody living with mental illness –  What you do need is the resilience, empathy, and determination to open doors, challenge prejudice, and champion the skills and talents of individuals who just need someone to believe in them.

An interest and some insight into mental health are desirable, but not essential.

We’ve found that it’s your personality and attitude which is more important – a genuine belief that someone with a history of poor mental health, can find sustainable employment and a passion to make a positive difference and build hopeful relationships, outweighs specific mental health experience.  See our infographic of what makes a good Employment Specialist, to see how well you match!

If you’re looking for a rewarding role where you’re making a difference to the lives of
individuals with mental health conditions, this is the role for you!

We’ve spoken to those currently working in IPS to see why they enjoy their job:

“Every day is so different”

“I feel lucky, I love getting up in the morning. It’s the variety, the conversations and hearing
about people’s backgrounds”

“We haven’t just met a target – we have changed someone’s life”

“Think about what you would do if the client was a family member. You would stop at nothing to get them a job. You would be speaking to all your contacts and reaching out to your network, going into shops on the high street etc and leaving no stone unturned in helping them secure employment”



The role of an Employment Specialist is incredibly dynamic and diverse. One moment you’ll
be working closely with IPS clients to set goals, refining their CVs, or practising interview techniques. The next, you’ll be out in the local community approaching potential employers
and discussing roles and job flexibility. Then you may end the day sitting with your colleagues in the clinical team in a review meeting.

Our Employment Specialists often report that they never have the same day twice!

If you are passionate, creative, and solution oriented, good at building hopeful relationships and growing trust, and believe that anyone can work, a career as an IPS Employment Specialist could be a varied and rewarding role for you.

Play Video

Having the Employment Specialist in the clinical team doesn't just give IPS clients a sense of hope, it gives clinical teams a sense of hope!

Consultant Psychiatrist

Community Mental Health Team


IPS Testimonial

Testimonial: Hillside Clubhouse Ella Newman-Greaves – Employment Specialist from  Hillside Clubhouse  has shared a recent testimonial...

Read More

Let's turn today on its head and join the Samaritans for #BrewMonday. Beat those January blues, have a virtual brew and a chat. It's important for our mental health to reach out, check-in and stay connected. Need support with your mental health in work, call 0800 456 8114.

IPS Grow - Change Minds. Change Lives.