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Employment Support

Launched in February 2018, the WLA Work and Health Programme (WHP) is a £27m project that was designed to support West London residents overcome barriers to employment and gain sustainable, well-paid work.

The programme provides specialised employment support, primarily for people with disabilities, but more broadly for long-term unemployed and those requiring early access. This covers a range of people, including: a person affected by a benefit cap, someone homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, a member of a family where a child is looked after, a working age adult with a mental health condition known to secondary care services, a working age adult with disabilities known to Adult Services, an offender or ex-offender, a former member of HM Armed Forces, a partner of current or former Armed Forces personnel, care leavers, a young person in a gang, a person with a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010, a carer or an ex-carer, a member of HM Armed Forces reserves, refugees, victims of domestic abuse, or a person for whom a drug or alcohol dependency (including a history of) presents a significant barrier to employment.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Work and Health Programme extension, Job Entry Targeted Support (WHP JETS), launched in October 2020. WHP JETS is designed to support West London residents that have recently become unemployed, due to coronavirus and the associated economic downturn, gain sustainable employment. The programme aims to deliver innovative digital employment support and skills interventions, integrating with local services and supporting the economic recovery of West London residents and businesses.

The £12.41m programme will support over 9,000 West London residents over the next 18 months. The focus is on helping those that have recently become unemployed to develop new skills and retrain to enhance their resilience in a difficult labour market. Find out more about WHP JETS, including how to make a referral.

The West London Alliance appointed Shaw Trust, a specialist market leading disability charity, to deliver this innovative programme.

Launched in January 2022, West London Boroughs’ Employment Support Services (WLBESS) is a £2.7 million project match funded by European Social Fund that was designed to support over 3000 West London residents gain well paid employment. The programme provides specialist support for the long term unemployed, inactive and short term unemployed with additional barriers to employment. Our Delivery Partners are: London Borough of Barnet, London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Ealing, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of Harrow and London Borough of Hounslow.

For more information or to get in touch about any of the Employment Support programmes, please contact David Lillicrap, Head of Employment and Health, on LillicrapD@ealing.gov.uk

Funded by:

European Union Social Fund logo

Programme Aims

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To support over 13,000 West London residents to overcome their barriers to employment and find sustainable work

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To offer sustainable London Living Wage (LLW) opportunities

A photo of the West London Work and Health taskforce members

Public Services

To integrate public services to provide more effective joined-up support for residents

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To provide an outstanding pre-employment offer to West London residents, setting them up for a lifetime of meaningful employment

Westminister Drug Project

WDP Life Transformed logo

The West London Alliance Employment Support programme also includes the innovative IPS (Individual Placement and Support) service for people affected by drug and alcohol issues. This service provides intensive employment support for people who want to get back into work as soon as possible. It began in January 2019 and will continue until June 2022, over which time we aim to have helped over 1700 people into employment.

It is provided by WDP (Westminster Drug Project), a leading charity providing drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services, who work very closely with the addiction treatment Services in each of the west London boroughs. The service is open to people living in Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster who have drug and alcohol issues.

Find out more by reading the IPS Impact Report, published January 2022.

From Homelessness to financial independence: a WHP success story

Aftab and Nusrat Gill are husband and wife and were both referred to West London Alliance WHP by Uxbridge JCP (Job Centre Plus) in March 2019. Being temporarily homeless and having to adjust to the loss of a family business, their lives became unbearable. Aftab felt that he was not able to provide for his family and he was giving himself a hard time. He also felt that his career had ended and that he would not be able to find employment again.

The Initial Assessment completed by his Support Manager showed that Aftab and Nusrat had multiple obstacles to overcome: homelessness, depression and anxiety at being unemployed: there were all barriers that affected them on a day-to-day basis. The Support Manager knew she had to help fast. In the first instance she issued them food bank vouchers to use at the local church. Having someone there to support and guide him gave Aftab confidence that he was not alone and that he would be able to find work again.

The Support Manager sourced a part-time cleaning job through a regular employee for Nusrat. Nusrat was happy to apply but very nervous about the interview. The Support Manager organised interview preparation and when Nusrat was ready, put her forward. Nusrat was successful and started working within one month of being on the WLA’s WHP.

The Support Manager continued looking for Aftab who had 15 years’ experience working at Heathrow Airport as a baggage handler, which he had to leave due to poor health. They worked closely together to identify his skills and strengths and he was referred to Community Links, a local provider to complete a 5 days security course. Aftab failed the exam twice and felt very disheartened. The Support Manager helped him through, module by module until she felt sure he was ready to take the test again. This time he passed and was found a job as a Security Officer at Heathrow Airport.

Aftab and Nusrat went from being homeless and unemployed to being housed in a two-bedroom house and both being employed. Their relationship has also improved now that they have somewhere to live and jobs. The work continues: Nusrat is continuing to work with her Support Manager to increase her hours to full time.

Through the WLA’s WHP, this family is now able to enjoy life again, and to achieve their goal of being financially independent.

Achievements in numbers


forecast to benefit from the work & health programme


forecast to benefit from the Individual Placement and Support mental health trailblazer


forecast to benefit from the drug & alcohol project


This programme reports to the West London Alliance Employment and Health Integration Board, chaired by Ealing’s CEO Paul Najsarek.

Work and Health Team:

David Lillicrap

Head of Work and Health

Kim Archer

Programme Lead

Loreta Gruia

Senior ESF Project Manager

Katie Wood

ESF Project Manager


View documents relating to this programme.

Programme Awards:


Programme partners

Department for Work & Pensions
European Social Fund
Shaw Trust

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