Published on 13 September 2023

£12.4 million fund to help change choices about work.

A funding award of £12.4 million has been announced for six ground-breaking projects, including an investigation looking at how endometriosis impacts women in the workplace.

The funding will support projects with an aim of understanding barriers to getting into work.

Projects include investigating the impact of endometriosis on women’s work choices and how programmes to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes can improve workforce participation.

A project by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will assess whether programmes to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity improve people’s ability to join the labour market. 

Around 3.8 million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes and 2.4 million are at high risk of developing the condition, which can have a strong effect on quality of life, including the ability to work.

The evaluation will include reviewing the impact of the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP), a large scale nine-month, evidence-based lifestyle change programme aimed at people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the funding aims to help overcome barriers facing those who need the most support getting into work.

A person working from home.

The government-supported projects include the first round of the Labour Market Evaluation and Pilots Fund, set to run over the next two years.

The results of these projects hope to help transform the government’s approach to the jobs market and drive forward research into best practice in employment.

While the UK’s employment rate is higher than a number of other advanced economies, the government is committed to ensure that those who most need help getting into the workplace are supported.

The Chancellor announced a range of interventions to address this at Spring Budget 2023.

The Labour Market Evaluation and Pilots Fund is part of that and will be used to test new approaches and generate better evidence to help specific groups back into work or to work longer hours.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Victoria Atkins, said: “Our jobs record is incredibly strong, with high employment that means millions of people are benefiting from work. But for some, that’s not happening.

“We need to look for solutions that are tailored to help people thrive in the jobs market. This analysis is the first step towards that – looking at specific health conditions or living arrangements to find out what works to help people work.”

Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression Mims Davies MP said: “The vital opportunities and confidence employment gives, helps to transform lives. This is why we are determined to support all those who want to progress to do so, while also driving down inactivity and importantly growing the economy.

“This key new funding for our pilots will enable us to support even more people to move forward in work, including vitally those in supported accommodation and more disadvantaged communities, to help people to break down any barriers to work, so more people can fulfil their employment potential.”

National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond, said: “The ONS welcomes the opportunity to shine light on this important area with these projects. This new analysis will provide crucial insight for decision makers in helping to understand how health conditions impact on people’s working lives and what interventions can help people stay in work.”

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