Employment Specialist

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 a year
Closing date
2 Jun 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 5
Contract Type
Job summary

An exciting opportunity has arisen to the join the IPS Supported Employment team at Workways working in Exeter linking with the Core CMHTs in the city.

Workways are recruiting an Employment Specialist to work in Exeter Workways admin base is in Exminster, near Exeter, but day to day work for the postholder will be based within Mental Health teams within Exeter and in the community. The postholders will receive management and clinical supervision from Workways.

The post holder will be involved in assisting Workways clients to find and receive support while in paid employment using the evidenced based Individual Placement &Support (IPS) approach.

Experience of supporting employers and helping people with a health condition (preferably mental health-related) to find employment are essential to the role.

Links with the well established Workways service offers excellent team support and supervision.

Main duties of the job

  • Supporting a caseload to find paid employment.
  • Working with the Core Community Mental Health services
  • Flexible working - working within community, working from home and working within the mental health team.
  • Working in the Community to engage with local employers to seek employment opportunities
  • Use an evidence-based model of practice - IPS that has become embedded in mental health practice across England
  • Opportunities to develop skills and link with Supported Employment services across the country

About us

About Devon Partnership Trust

We provide mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity services, as well as a range of specialist & secure services for the wider south west region & nationally. We are passionate about promoting good mental health & wellbeing. We strive to use the expertise & resources within our organisation, and through our partnerships, to deliver high quality services that are safe & focused on people's recovery.

We are committed to developing a culture of coproduction, involving patients, families & carers in everything we do

Our values

We not only recruit based on qualifications & experience - we recruit individuals who possess & demonstrate the behaviours which underpin our Trusts core values. These include such attributes as showing a commitment to quality of care, improving lives of others, giving respect, dignity & compassion. We can bring those values to life in our everyday tasks by giving a smile; making time for people; challenging ourselves & others, & being open to new ideas.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer & applications are encouraged & welcomed from all sections of the community, regardless of any protected characteristics as governed by the Equality Act 2010. Part time & flexible working applications will be considered & supported, where possible. We particularly encourage applicants with lived experience of mental health conditions, neurodiversity or learning disabilities. We are a Disability Confident Leader Employer.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Job Purpose

The postholder works as part of the Workways team in line with the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) evidence based best practice in VRS. The postholder also provides specialised vocational assessment of individuals learning and work needs. The postholder will manage a caseload of no more than 20 people (per wte) who are experiencing mental health problems and wish to enter or remain in employment in line with IPS principles. Working with people in an individualised way to help them achieve their own employment goals, the postholder will be pro-active in their engagement with people on their caseload. The postholder will provide advice, information and support to the individual and to their employer and mental health worker. The postholder is responsible for establishing and maintaining links with relevant organisations, employers and individuals to enable people who have mental ill health to obtain paid work.

This post may involve lone working, working away from base frequently and working without direct supervision. Postholder will be based in Exeter.

Duties and Responsibilities

Communication and Working Relationship Skills
  • Be the linked Employment Specialist to one or two mental health teams, in line with IPS fidelity
  • Develop effective working relationships with a range of other agencies who might be better able to help individuals to achieve their employment goals for example, local colleges, training providers and external supported employment services.
  • Liaise regularly with mental health services workers, users and carers groups and other health related agencies over learning and work issues.
  • Establish, maintain and nurture employer contacts with the aim of increasing options for people to find employment. Aim to contact at least one new employer every week.
  • Promote the benefits of employing and supporting people with mental health issues to employers
  • Support employers to enable the person using the service to sustain their position. This will involve regular communication with employers and others to provide advice, guidance and training on how to manage a particular situation.
  • Be available on the end of the phone for advice and support to employers and others as required
  • Promote and publicise Workways to learning and work providers and the wider community by giving talks or presentations as agreed with service manager.
  • Be able to sensitively deal with confidential and complex information regarding an individuals health and employment history.
  • Work closely with the person using the service ensuring appropriate, prompt, pro-active and clear communication at all times.
  • Following DPT policies, respond to requests for general information regarding mental health and employment, this may be from employers and members of the public
  • Keep the Workways team informed of current work to ensure continuity of work at times of absence.
  • Work closely with the whole Workways team and cover others work as needed, this may include covering admin and reception duties at times of staff shortages.

Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Following assessment of a new applicant to the service, offer the most relevant interventions in line with the IPS approach.
  • Monitor progress with clinical outcomes of own caseload and report monthly to team lead on these to ensure accurate onward reporting.

Planning and Organisational Skills
  • Ensure effective use of resources within own work.
  • Be responsible for organising and planning own caseload and managing clinical/non clinical time effectively to fit with service needs and demands
  • Working with another team member, prepare, organise and run training for employers, others in learning and work organisations and care staff about learning, work and mental health issues.
  • As required take a lead in planning and running of recovery courses and groups for people who use the service such as Preparing For Work.
  • Work flexibly to meet individuals needs and this may require some working out of normal office hours.

Responsibility for Patient/Client Care, Treatment and Therapy
  • At all times work in a recovery-focussed way.
  • Manage a caseload of people (of no more than 20 people per whole time equivalent worker) who have mental health issues and who wish to find paid work .
  • Work pro-actively with the person using the service with the ultimate goal of helping them findand retain paid work.
  • Provide IPS vocational assessment for individual applicants to Workways.
  • Work with the person using the service to explore their areas of strength, development needs, barriers to progression, learning and work needs and so on to draw up a plan of action and their next best step.
  • Co-write all action plans with the person using the service, then monitor and evaluate these plans in order to measure progress and effectiveness of all interventions.
  • Regularly review the agreed action plan with the person using the service, seeking to assist them to progress with their vocational goals.
  • Provide interventions to assist the individual in problem solving, confidence building and improving work related skills
  • Provide support in the work place for each person using the service to enable them to have the best possible chance of succeeding in the position.
  • Provide individualised, on-going support and advice to individuals once they have secured employment to assist them in sustaining employment.
  • Maintain a professional relationship with the people using the service with VRS staff, with mental health staff, employers and with particular attention to confidentiality and maintenance of professional boundaries.
  • Plan and implement recovery courses or groups as required. This involves running group sessions on topics such as interview techniques, c.v. writing or assertiveness, for example.
  • Be able to work with people who have additional problems such as learning difficulties, physical conditions or injuries.

Responsibility for Policy and Service Development Implementation
  • Ensure up to date knowledge of, and adherence to, the Individual Placement and Support approach to helping people find employment.
  • Keep Workways informed of current VR issues and keep up to date with examples of evidence-based practice and government initiatives and mandates.
  • Ensure there is easily accessible written and electronic information for all the team and people using the service about learning and work related issues and services.
  • Be involved in developing local policies
  • Assist as requested in producing documents of good practice about the employment of people with mental health difficulties.
  • Increase engagement of employers through providing support for employers in recruitment & retention of staff with mental health issues.
  • Network with peers to maintain professional links across the Trust

Responsibility for Finance, Equipment and Other Resources
  • Ensure all resources are used safely, efficiently and effectively, bringing to the service managers attention any areas where this might be improved
  • May handle small amounts of petty cash on occasion.
  • May be a purchase card holder

Responsibility for Human Resources, e.g. Supervision, Training, HR Advice and Management
  • Provide informal and ad-hoc clinical support and supervision to the administration team as required
  • Supervise students on placement as agreed with service manager.
  • Assist with the induction of new staff

Responsibility for Information Resources and Administrative Duties
  • Maintain up to date and accurate statistics, clinical records, service deficits, training given, outcomes of contact, and any other information needed for the ongoing evaluation of the service.
  • Regularly use IT systems for inputting of data, e-mailing, internet and word processing.
  • Assist in reviewing the teams adminstration processes to ensure they are fit for purpose, raising any concerns with team lead or service manager.

Responsibility for Research and Development
  • Take an active part in reviewing and developing new working practices in line with current evidence based practice
  • Participate in staff surveys
  • Take an active role in conducting clinical audits

Freedom to Act
  • In line with policies and procedures, work under the general supervision of the appointed supervisor making independent decisions on a day to day basis.

Any Other Specific Tasks Required
  • Using the Trusts core training requirements and the Workways team development checklist, participate in a range of learning opportunities to ensure own skills and knowledge are up to date.
  • Have monthly professional, clinical and managerial supervision of work
  • Have yearly personal development and review meetings and six monthly reviews.

Person Specification



  • Qualifications - Essential criteria
  • Qualifications & Training
  • Degree in either Occupational Therapy, Careers Guidance, Vocational Rehabilitation or equivalent
  • Experience - Essential criteria
  • Knowledge of the IPS approach to supported employment
  • Knowledge of the employment needs and possible difficulties of people who experience mental health problems.
  • Understanding of mental health conditions
  • Understanding of current mental health services
  • An understanding of the current research and thinking about vocational rehabilitation services
  • Communication and Working Relationship Skills:
  • Ability to demonstrate highly developed verbal communication skills in order to develop on-going relat
    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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