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Employment Advisor

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 a year
Closing date
22 May 2024

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Other Health Profession
Band 5
Contract Type
Full Time
A recent evaluation of the role of employment advisors in NHS talking therapies, has shown improved mental health for patients where there is a combined offer of employment support and psychological treatment. In light of these outcomes we are excited to confirm our plan to expand our employment offer in TALKWORKS, Devons NHS Talking Therapies Service. The expansion enables us to appoint an employment advisor within our North Devon Team.

The employment advisor role will involve working alongside a team of therapists to ensure that a personalised package of combined psychological treatment and employment support is available to all patients who require support with remaining in employment, returning to employment following a period of absence or seeking new employment.

We are looking for enthusiastic person who has a commitment to our local services. The service covers a large geographical area and we strive to maintain a strong and healthy team culture. This position will cover the north Devon locality of TALKWORKS and some travel will be required when developing links within the community and supporting patients accessing employment support. The base for the role will be in Barnstaple. We welcome applications from positive and motivated individuals who have a keen interest to contribute towards developing and shaping the employment support offer within our service.

Main duties of the job

  • To provide information, advice and guidance to all NHS Talking Therapies patients who choose to receive employment support. This may include supporting people to remain in, return to and gain employment.
  • To collaboratively establish employment goals with patients and produce a personalised action plan to help them to achieve these
  • To empower patients to make better decisions about their working lives through improving communication with their colleagues and managers in the workplace.
  • To work closely with external employment related services including Jobcentre Plus, Work & Health Programme providers, employers, trade unions and employment agencies

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.

Job description

Job responsibilities

Communication and Working Relationship Skills
  • Offer patients support agreeing a written action plan with the person detailing the steps to be taken to either get back into or retain employment and the appropriate support route. Including abilities, work solutions, preparation for work, disclosure. The action plan should also be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound).
  • Advocate on behalf of the patient with prospective employers if necessary, aiming to identify work solutions that will overcome or minimise difficulties within the workplace.
  • Establish any return to work issues, potential behaviour in the work place, possible work solutions. Employer awareness of the implications under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments, health conditions and employment reactions. Interactions with supervisors and colleagues. Development needs and in work support
  • Develop in-depth knowledge of the local labour market, local support and new initiatives, taking into account the needs of the patient to support effective interventions. Including specialist schemes to help with retaining or finding employment.
  • Be able to sensitively deal with confidential and complex information regarding an individuals health, education 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
  • Develop effective working relationships with a range of other agencies who might be better able to help individuals to achieve their employment and/or education goals for example, local colleges, training providers and external supported employment services.
  • Advocate on behalf of the patient with prospective employers if necessary, aiming to identify work solutions that will overcome or minimise difficulties within the workplace.
Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Analyse job tasks and match with an individuals ability to do the job and any work solutions that may be required to develop the match.
  • Consider a range of options available for a patient.
  • To appropriately escalate any concerns following the identification of risk and safeguarding by adhering to TALKWORK risk management guidance.

Planning and Organisational Skills
  • Provide a service that is flexible as far as possible in terms of service working hours, enabling, where possible, at least one working session to be run outside 9-5 hours.
  • Be responsible for organising and planning own caseload and managing clinical/non clinical time effectively to fit with service needs and demands
  • Prepare, organise and run training for employers, others in learning and work organisations and care staff about learning, work and mental health issues.

Responsibility for Patient/Client Care, Treatment and Therapy
  • To manage a caseload of people who have experienced mental health problems and who wish to retain, return to or regain employment, using evidence based interventions.
  • The work will be led by and focus on the aspirations of the service user. Considering their strengths, difficulties and employment assets in order to offer the most effective support.
  • Conduct an assessment, discussing the persons job goals and any concerns regarding their capacity for work. It is important at this point to establish a job goal (they may wish to change roles or find a job), job tasks gathering evidence about the individuals abilities including previous work experience (it could be that a role they did previously may be more suitable). Also important is their confidence to perform tasks and any factors that may be issues for employment and whether the individual has or could develop strategies to address them.
  • Where appropriate provide help to find the right job and provide advice and support on training and also how to prepare for employer interviews.
  • Aim to identify work solutions that will overcome or minimise difficulties within the workplace. In particular establishing any return to work issues, potential behaviour in the work place, possible work solutions.
  • Provide the patient with appropriate tools to enable them to ensure that their needs are met within the workplace. Support to either self-advocate or source an appropriate advocate.
  • Be aware of the impact on an individual who is experiencing mental health issues, including loss of confidence, fear of failure etc.
  • Be aware that many individuals with mental health conditions may also have primary or secondary health conditions and disabilities.

Responsibility for Policy and Service Development Implementation
  • To contribute, alongside fellow Employment Advisorss, Employment Support Coordinators and TALKWORKS leadership, to the development of policies to guide the work of EAs
  • 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 peoplewith 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
  • To ensure that all Trust equipment and resources are used in line with Trust policies

Responsibility for Human Resources, e.g. Supervision, Training, HR Advice and Management
  • Subject to experience, the post holders will be willing to deputise for Band 6 Employment Support Coordinators for short periods of time.
  • Subject to experience, the post holders may be support to undertake supervision with newer EAs or Band 4 EAs.
  • To be willing to providing information and training to clinical staff on any area of specialist knowledge relating to employment matters
  • To update existing knowledge by attending relevant training opportunities and CPD arranged by the service.
  • Keep up to date with the latest updates on employment law, labour market changes and benefits system
  • To keep up to date with accurate information on local resources, facilities, training and employment.
  • To attend regular supervision with an Employment Support Coordinator

Responsibility for Information Resources and Administrative Duties
  • Ensure that all necessary documentation is completed, including recording notes from each patient contact on the IAPTus clinical record system.
  • Ensure that annual leave, expenses and other job administration is kept up to date and completed on time.

Responsibility for Research and Development
  • Assist in audits of clinical activity and evaluative research as required.
  • To collect data accurately as part of day to day role, enable audit activity to take place.
  • Undertake surveys or audits, as necessary to own work

Freedom to Act
  • Works to Clearly defined occupational policies. Work is managed, rather than supervised

Person Specification



  • Experience of providing vocational/employment support as part of a prior role.


  • Experience of supporting people with MH conditions into vocational/employment activities.
  • Understanding of the employment needs, barriers and difficulties faced by people with MH conditions.
  • Experience of working in a service where agreed targets are in place, demonstrating specific outcomes
  • Experience of assessing, planning and facilitating activities that focus on recovery and vocational skills.
  • Experience of working with interpreters
  • Experience of working within a multi disciplinary team

Analytical and Judgemental Skills


  • Ability to self-reflect, whilst working with patients, in own personal and professional development and in supervision
  • Skilled at developing good rapport with patients and enabling them to find their own solutions



  • Essential
  • The post holder will have a good understanding of return to work planning.
  • Knowledge of the secondary effects on the individual that could be caused by their mental health experience, including loss of employment. The EA will also be aware that many individuals with mental health conditions may also have primary or secondary health conditions and disabilities.
  • knowledge to understand the work implications of conditions, confidence, fear of failure etc.
  • Knowledge of employment and disability related benefits.
  • Knowledge of the employment /education needs and possible difficulties of people who experience mental health problems.


  • Knowledge of and guided by the Job Centre Plus Employment, Health Condition and Disability guide notes.
  • Awareness of the needs of people with MH conditions. The issues surrounding work and the impact it can have on MH.
  • Current awareness of Government employment/training schemes
  • Working knowledge of community resources.
  • Knowledge of employment law and the Equality Act 2010.
  • Knowledge of evidence based interventions to support people with common MH problems remain in, return to & gain work

Planning and Organisational Skills


  • Ability to set clear SMART employment goals with patients
  • Able to communicate clearly and persuasively both verbally and in writing
  • Basic IT skills including word processing, excel and data base packages
  • Ability to carry out a range of evaluation and monitoring techniques

Communication and Working Relationship Skills


  • Effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Organisational skills.
  • Ability to prioritise and plan own caseload.
  • Ability to assess individual strengths in relation to employment.
  • Ability to adapt activities to be appropriate for the needs of an individual client.
  • Ability to meet agreed/specified service targets.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to collect and report data to support ser
    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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