Find out more about working within IPS:
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.
Currently, 90% of people with severe mental illness want to work but currently, only 8% are in work. NHS England has made a commitment to change this by leading a major expansion of employment services using the IPS evidence-based model of helping people into a job of their choosing.
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.
FAQs around becoming an Employment Specialist
Our selection process has been designed to help us both assess if we fit together and whether you’re likely to succeed as an ES. There are 6 steps to complete before we welcome you on board.
Search for job opportunities within IPS providers. Jobs are listed on IPS Grow website and individually within each provider, here you’ll find detailed information about specific requirements in the job descriptions.
Apply online. The candidate profile and application form takes about 30 minutes to complete. If you wish to be considered for more than one location, please state this clearly on your application form.
Telephone interview. You will have a short telephone interview with the hiring manager to discuss your application and interest in the position
Face to face interview. To prepare for your interview, think about what you want to tell us about yourself, relevant work and life experience. We want to get to know you as an individual and discover your strengths and attributes. Be prepared to interview us about the scope of the role, our expectations and how we could work together. Part of the assessment process will include a role play but there is no preparation required beforehand.
Review our offer. If you successfully complete the interview and selection process, we’ll make you a formal offer in writing. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions, and if you’re happy with the offer, we’ll looking forward to receiving your confirmation and welcoming you on board.
Is a career in IPS right for you?
No. An interest and some insight into mental health is 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 what makes a good Employment Specialist here.
IPS Team Leader
FAQ’s To Become A Team Leader
As a Team Leader you’ll be responsible for the day to day management of service contracts and effectively manage a team of typically 2-5 Employment Specialists. You will help the team to plan and problem solve employment issues with their clients. You’ll hold one to one meeting with your team members, discuss difficulties with their client work and link them to wider networks of peer support.
As a Team Leader you’ll regularly liaise with service commissioners and clinical partners, providing data reports of progress and activity, as well as actively network with local employers and voluntary organisations to help find paid work opportunities.
could you change a life?
Together, we’re creating a more inclusive society and transforming the lives of people living with mental health needs.