As far as we are aware, we have listed all current welfare-to-work programmes available in your area on this page. If you notice any omissions or see a programme that is no longer running we would be grateful if you could get in touch with us.

We have listed them in the order that seems most logical to us; it's likey that a Jobcentre Plus adviser will start by looking at those programmes near the top of the list when they meet a jobseeker for the first time and then start working their way down. That said, the depending on the support needs a jobseeker has (particularly if he or she has disabilities) might necessitate the adviser going straight to programmes further down the list.

A particularly useful programme for many disabled people is Access To Work and if you don't know about it we suggest you scroll down our list to read about it. We also suggest you read what we say in the Jobcentre Plus page using the button on the right.

Looking at what's available at Jobcentre Plus will almost certainly be the best start point for the people you support (unless they are on Incapacity Benefit) and, as jobseekers on JSA or ESA are required to attend their local Jobcentre Plus offices on a regular basis, we think it's beneficial to give you as much information as we can on what's currently available.

Please note, Incapacity Benefit will be phased out by 2014. If people couldn’t work because of illness or disability before 31 January 2011, they may still be receiving Incapacity Benefit. But since 31 January 2011 no new Incapacity Benefit claims have been accepted. People are put on Employment and Support Allowance instead.

So, what happens when somebody attends a JobCentre Plus office?

Whether jobseekers are seen by mainstream advisers or Disability Employment Advisers, the first step might be to see if they can be supported straight into work. Vacancies can be pulled up on screen and, if there are jobs that are appropriate, jobseekers can be put forward for these vacancies.

It's worth pointing out that JCP advisers can draw down a few handy incentives at this stage including Work Trials meaning jobseekers can "try the job out" for short time-limited periods, whilst remaining on benefits.

If no jobs are available or seem appropriate, JCP advisers can look at programmes and courses available via Jobcentre Plus.


As a start point, JCP advisers can use all or some elements of:
Support Contract
Funded: DWP.
Accessed: through Jobcentre Plus advisers only.
Delivered: Pinnacle People (see Support orgs) and a small number of subcontractors including
Skills Training UK Ltd. (see Support orgs)
Basic description: For "job ready" individuals, typically one day a week for six weeks, looking at areas such as CV building, job search skills, interview practice etc. Delivered at community venues.


Jobseekers might also take advantage of:
Next Step
Funded: The Skills Funding Agency.
Accessed: 1) using this this web address or
2) using this telephone number: 0800 100 900 or
3) Face-to-face by phoning 0800 100 900

Babcock Enterprises (see Support orgs)
and their Kent subcontractors:
The Computer Skills Centre at Beacon Church, Maidstone
(see Support orgs)
Canterbury College (see Colleges)
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
(see Health Trust)
Thanet College (see Colleges)
Kent Probation Service (see Support orgs)
Romney Resource Centre (see Support orgs)
RBLI (see Support orgs)
Shaw Trust (see Support orgs)

Basic description: Unlimited access to national web and telephone services, universal access to one face-to-face advice session regardless of employment status (with more sessions available for priority groups), web channel with a new directory of course provision, skills accounts, skills diagnostic tools.

Detailed description: At this website.


Jobseekers might take advantage of:
Skills Conditionality Programme
Skills Funding Agency
Accessed: through Jobcentre Plus advisers

Basic Description: The JCP adviser will make the referral. Typically, these will be short vocationally-based courses, usually delivered by local colleges. Programmes change regularly so updating them here would be a very difficult task. At any time a JCP adviser will have an up-to-date list of what courses are available at what colleges with start and finish dates.


The JCP adviser might take advantage of Get Britain Working.
The main focus of this is the Work Club.

Basic description: Work Clubs are run by local groups, which could include local employers, voluntary organisations, community groups and local authorities.  They can provide jobseekers a place to meet to:

  • share job hunting ideas and tips
  • find jobs and training opportunities
  • share experiences 
  • meet people that may be able to help their improve their chances of finding a job
  • get the support they need to help you find work

More information about Work Clubs can be found at this page of the direct gov website.

Taking part in a Work Club is entirely voluntary. They are available to any unemployed person who is looking for work. People may join a Work Club at any time unless they are required to take part in the Work Programme.


Jobseekers might take advantage of:
The Work Programme

Funded: DWP
Accessed: through Jobcentre Plus advisers

Basic Decription: Introduced in the summer of 2011, The Work Programme is delivered by two Prime Providers in Kent, Surrey and Sussex: G4S (see Support orgs) and Avanta (see Support orgs).

These providers, and their subcontractors, will give people the support they need to find and stay in work, and includes support for people who might change benefits.

The Work Programme may include activities like work experience and training and further support. The support people get is tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. Involvement in the Work Programme will last up to two years.

More information about The Work Programme can be found at this page of the direct gov website.


Access To Work
Jobcentre Plus
Accessed: referral via a DEA at Jobcentre Plus, or self-referral.
Delivered: If it's a piece of equipment, this will be supplied by Jobcentre Plus. If it's a support worker, this person will usually be sent by a JCP subcontractor, depending on what support is needed.

Basic Desription: Access To Work can help people if their health or disabilities affects the way they do their jobs. It gives disabled people and their employers advice and support with extra costs which may arise.

ATW can support people in a paid jobs, unemployed people about to start a job, unemployed people about to start a Work Trial and self-employed people. If people's disabilies or health conditions makes it difficult for them to do parts of your job, ATW can help. The scheme is there to support all disabled people including those with dyslexia.

Help can be given to pay for some software, or IT equipment, or perhaps pay for a support worker, or signer. It can also help with some transport costs.

For full details see this page on the direct gov website.

Applications can be made via a Disability Employment Adviser or by following the instructions on this page on the direct gov website.


Jobseekers might take advantage of:
Funded: DWP
Accessed: through Jobcentre Plus advisers only (usually, a Disability Employment Adviser)
Delivered: Shaw Trust (see Support orgs) and
Scope (see Support orgs). Both of these organisations are sub-contracted by Working Links Ltd (see Support orgs)

Basic description: A programme for disabled people in three modules:

Module one:  Work Entry Support
This will last for up to six months.  People receive help with personal skills and work-related advice to get them into supported or unsupported work.

Module two:  In-Work Support
This will last for up to two years. People will receive help to start work and stay in their jobs.

Module three:  Longer-term In-Work Support
People will receive help to  progress into work and, where appropriate, be helped to move into unsupported work.

More information about Workchoice can be found at this page of the direct gov website.


Families might be eligible for Progress! a programme that seeks, as one of its objectives, to improve the job prospects of disadvantaged people.

Funded: DWP
Accessed: Telephone: 0208 795 8230
or via the website
Delivered: Skills Training UK (see Support orgs) and their subcontractors.

The programme is for up to 12 months and participants voluntarily agree to take part.

Progress Coaches develop and implement Family and Individual Progress Plans, engage with specialist local providers as required and mentor participants throughout their programme. For a full explanation and to read the eligibility criteria, please download this pdf.


The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) forms part of the overall Jobcentre Plus (JCP) Pre-work programme offer. FSF replaces a range of previous support which helped customers enter and remain in work. JCP customers are eligible for support from the fund provided they are not in the Work Programme. Advisers must also ensure that all other avenues of financial support have been fully explored and it is confirmed that none is available before committing expenditure.

The FSF gives Jobcentre Plus Districts greater freedom to tailor back to work support to individual and local need. Working within local guidelines and priorities, Jobcentre Plus Advisers have discretion to decide how to help individuals move closer to or into work. The FSF also includes a grant funding mechanism, enabling Jobcentre Plus District Managers to award funding to local "partnerships" to address barriers to work. There is no exhaustive list of needs that may be met by the FSF, but examples could include travel costs, tools or training.

For full details contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.


We now look at programmes that might be accessed via routes outside Jobcentre Plus offices.


Jobseekers with acquired brain injuries can consider:
QEF Vocational/future planning (incorporating work experience where possible)
Funded: YPLA, PCT or private insurers or sources.
Accessed: referral from any support professionals or self-referrals. These can come from anywhere in the South East.
Delivered: QEF Neuro Rehabilitation Services (see Support orgs)

Basic description: The centre provides neuro-rehabilitation for people with acquired brain injury and covers a wide range of areas in which to support clients to develop their independence.

The Centre’s multi-disciplinary team provide art and design, education, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, recreation, speech and language therapy, and vocational rehabilitation. As part of this rehabilitation, future planning is focused upon including further education, vocational training and employment. Support is provided in respect of producing CVs, filling in applications, attending interviews etc and, where possible, work experience placements are arranged.


Just as Jobcentre Plus often provides the keys to open many doors into appropriate training for people with addtional needs as they look for work, for people with mental health issues, it's often crucial to have the support of the individual's GP, and if necessary a community mental health team.

For Jobseekers with mental health issues, especially those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders it is worth investigating what services can be accessed under the IAPT programme (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies). This programme is also useful for people at work who are beginning to suffer from depression or anxiety, and who are finding that this is having a negative impact on their work.

IAPT is split into low-intensity and high-intensity support both based on cognitive behaviour therapy approaches. Low-intensity can include telephone support, computer-based support packages and group work. High-intensity is more likely to be one-to-one counselling.

This 12-minute video describes the programme quite well. However, it's worth noting that the "NHS stressline" service the video flags up at the end no longer exists.

For a very detailed explanation of IAPT download this PDF.

Much of the publicity behind IAPT says that people can self-refer and they can do this by typing their postcode into this page within the NHS Choices website. However, this route might not give them access to providers who provide a free service, so whist in theory people might be able to self-refer, in practice the easiest route will probably be via their GP.

There are currently Employment Advisors in the KMPT Primary Care Psychological Therapies Services (IAPT) in:

Maidstone & the Weald
Dartford, Gravesend & Swanley
West Kent: Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells & Tonbridge
Medway (has been running a trial of a job retention role for 3 years, but short term funding is likely to end in 2011 and negotiations are ongoing to try to mainstream the role)

There are three commissioned IAPT providers in Kent:

KCA (see Support orgs), who provide low-intensity support in Thanet and Swale, and high-intensity support in Ashford and Canterbury.

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. (KMPT, see Health Trust), who provide low and high-intensity support in Dover/Deal, low-intensity in Canterbury and high-intensity in Swale.

Counselling Team Ltd (see Support orgs) who provide low and high-intensity support in Shepway.

West Kent have in their three localities (South West Kent, Dartford and Gravesham, Maidstone) low and high-intensity support delivered by KMPT. Medway have KCA delivering Tier 2 and KMPT delivering Tier 3 with no employment specific roles.


For Jobseekers with enduring mental health issues it is worth investigating what services can be accessed under the IPS model (Individual Placement and Support). This website explains IPS well.

For mental health provision funded by KMPT, East Kent is divided into six regions and in each one an IPS service is offered by KMPT and an independent provider.

Canterbury: KMPT and Chaucer Homecare (see Support orgs).
Dover / Deal: KMPT and Shaw Trust (see Support orgs).
Shepway: KMPT and MCCH (see Support orgs).
Ashford: KMPT and Shaw Trust (see Support orgs).
Thanet: KMPT and Rethink (see Support orgs).
Swale: KMPT and Shaw Trust (see Support orgs).

West Kent is arranged over three localities:
South West Kent via KMPT and Kent Supported Employment
Dartford and Gravesham via KMPT and MCCH.
Maidstone via KMPT, MCCH and Blackthorn Trust (see Support orgs).

Medway is also covered with IPS being delivered by KMPT.


Jobseekers with mental health issues can also consider
KSA mental health support programme
Funded: Local Authority
Accessed: referral from any support professionals or self-referrals.
Delivered: Kent Supported Employment (see Support orgs),
Basic description: General support towards employment, confidence building, CV writing, help with applications, phoning employers, support at job interviews etc. People coming on to the programme need to be known to Social Services.
KSE work out of five different locations: Gravesend, Maidstone, Folkestone, Whitstable and West Malling.


Jobseekers with learning disabilities can take advantage of:
KSA learning disability support programme
Funded: Local Authority
Accessed: referral from any support professionals or self-referrals.
Delivered: Kent Supported Employment (see Support orgs),
Basic description: General support towards employment, confidence building, CV writing, help with applications, phoning employers, support at job interviews etc. People coming on to the programme need to be known to Social Services.
KSE work out of five different locations: Gravesend, Maidstone, Folkestone, Whitstable and West Malling.


Jobseekers with learning disabilities or physical disabilities can use:
The Thanet Project
Funded: Local Authority
Accessed: for people referred by care managers, or people self-referring on Direct Payments.
Delivered: Shaw Trust in Thanet (see Support orgs),
Basic description: A wide range of Training programmes such as: computer courses including a basic word processing course, literacy and numeracy, life skills including confidence building and social skills, job searching and CV preparation, performing arts.

The project supports people to find voluntary or paid work by providing people with work preparation skills, help with application forms and interviews, advice about talking to employers, and support in work placements.