Council run ESA trial receives positive feedback

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The manager of a Council run scheme to help Employment Support Allowance (ESA) claimants get back into work says feedback from a preliminary trial has been extremely positive.

Tina Gillespie, who is the ‘Want to Work?’ Programme Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “We’ve had some great success to date in sourcing sustainable employment opportunities for people engaging with the programme and the feedback on the trial has been extremely positive.

“I think what appeals to people is that plans are tailored to meet their needs and they’re flexible, taking into account changing circumstances. Participants can avail of a wide range of support and information services that are free and confidential, which is particularly valuable to new ESA claimants who may be unsure how they can begin the process of sourcing alternative employment.

“We’re delighted with the response so far, and hope the trial will continue in the long-term, so we would encourage as many people as possible to volunteer and take advantage of the wealth of support that’s out there.”

This trial programme is being delivered locally by Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with the Department for Social Development and the Department for Employment and Learning. It offers early, intensive and one to one support for new ESA claimants who are keen to get back into employment, move closer to the labour market, or find ways to better manage their condition.

Want to Work? has been running since September 2015, and will complete in June 2016. Your benefits will not be affected by taking part. If you have applied for Employment and Support Allowance, have not yet had your Work Capability Assessment, and would like more information about the free, confidential support we can offer, please contact an advisor on 028 71 308466 or visit