East Riding of Yorkshire Council supports two Employability Wellbeing Service projects

Fri, 14 Jan 2022

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is leading on the delivery of two Employability Wellbeing Service projects alongside several partners following a combined £3 million of funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) and match funding from our project partners at Hull City Council, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, Tigers Sport and Education Trust and Hull and East Yorkshire Mind.

The Employability Wellbeing Service (A) project will provide support to over 900 individuals with mental health issues to support them to engage with or re-engage with the labour market, including those aged 16-25. The project has two primary objectives:

  • To alleviate barriers to social inclusion and mobility caused by mental health impediments through engagement and managed interventions that offer better access to wraparound services and support.
  • To assess employability and work readiness and to improve access to employment for job seekers, inactive and young people at risk of social exclusion affected by mental health obstacles through supported initiatives such as work experience placements, skills development and vocational training.

The council will work alongside partners from Hull City Council, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust and Tigers Sport and Education Trust to deliver the Employability Wellbeing Service (A) project up to the end of 2023.

The Employability Wellbeing Service (B) project will provide training to over 450 employers and employees to assist them in managing people with mental health needs, offering support for businesses to engage in culture change around disclosure of mental health issues, and supporting employees and managers to have an increased awareness of how they can support staff and build a culture where health, wellbeing and neurodiversity is valued. The project aims are:

  • To audit mental health, wellbeing and skills provision within the workplace and achieve measurable enhancements in skills and competences.
  • To build SME mental health and wellbeing provision through training and development, promote positive culture change and introduce mechanisms to (re)assess policies and procedures.

The council will work alongside partners from Hull City Council, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust and Hull & East Yorkshire Mind to deliver the Employability Wellbeing Service (B) project, again until to the end of 2023.

These two complementary projects will run parallel with each other.

Employee health and its impact upon economic prosperity has been well researched and documented. One figure suggests poor mental health is estimated to carry an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year in England, with mental health accounting for 21.3% of the total burden of disease in England.

Increasingly, several studies have been produced noting the considerable role played by individual mental health in overall wellbeing and ability to perform in the workplace.

On overall prevalence, evidence suggests that:

  • 1 in 6 adults reported a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety, in the last week
  • Only 1 in 8 adults with a mental health problem are currently getting any kind of treatment
  • Higher risk of mental health problems is linked to several factors, including facing social inequality and disadvantage and/or facing discrimination and social exclusion
  • 47% of ESA Claimants in the Humber LEP area reported mental and behavioural disorders in November 2018

It is believed that COVID-19 will increase the detrimental impact on mental health.

  • 69% of adults in the UK report feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life
  • Taking account of pre-pandemic trajectories, mental health has worsened by 8.1% on average as a result of the pandemic, with young adults and women hit hardest

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for economic development and tourism at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The subject of mental health is one most people have become accustomed to hearing more and more about over the previous few years and it is pleasing to see these projects providing much needed support to almost a thousand individuals suffering from mental health issues.

"It is also important for employers to engage in culture change when it comes to mental health issues and being aware of how they can become a support to any staff who are struggling. These projects will go a long way to help employees overcome mental health obstacles through supported initiatives, as well as helping businesses to assess their own current provisions through training and development."

Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment and Regeneration, said: "All efforts to improve access to work for the most vulnerable in our society are commendable, and poor mental health is a well-documented cause of disengagement from the labour market. Addressing barriers to work resulting from mental health issues and supporting those facing these issues to secure and sustain employment and their potential workplaces to create supportive working environments requires meaningful intervention. Hull City Council is proud to support this vitally important project."

Natalie Belt, Service Manager at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust are thrilled to have been awarded funding from the European Social Fund in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to expand our existing employment support service and employability scheme, with an overall emphasis on improving health, wellbeing and lifestyle for young people and working age adults to enhance their work experience by being mentally and physically well and exploring opportunities to improve work-life balance for those seeking employment or new to employment. The aim is to work not only with people on a one to one basis, but to expand our offer into the workplace, providing a unique package of lifestyle support that will inevitably evidence an improvement in both mental and physical output of employees."

Catherine Bishop, CEO at Tigers Sport and Education Trust, said: "I believe the Trust has an important role to play in supporting improved health and well-being across our communities. Through the delivery of our unique interventions and activities, we are able to promote healthy lifestyles and facilitate positive engagement in training and employability support. We are delighted to be a partner in this quality programme at such an important time".

Lyndsey McClements, Director of Operations at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, said: "We are thrilled to be involved in this new initiative to support employees and employers. With an average of 1 in 6 members of staff experiencing poor mental health at work, the wellbeing of staff is something that cannot be ignored.

There are lots of things we can all do to improve the mental wellbeing of employees in whatever organisation we work in - whether that's private sector or public sector, small or large. We are looking forward to helping both employees and employers to stay mentally well at work and promote a positive working environment."

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