Drug & Alcohol IPS Employment Service


Supporting people in substance use treatments to find paid, sustainable employment as part of a recovery journey.

Services available in;

Shropshire – working alongside We Are With You

Telford – Working alongside STaRS


Need to be of working age.

Individuals need to be within structured treatment through We Are With You in Shropshire and STaRS in Telford.


*Structured drug and alcohol treatment consists of phased and layered psychosocial interventions, sometimes accompanied by substitute prescribing, and will involve a client developing a treatment and recovery care plan alongside a keyworker. Structured treatment provides access to specialist medical assessment and intervention and works jointly with services for mental and physical health, safeguarding and family support, according to need. People who are receiving only interventions such a brief advice and harm minimisation support would not generally be classed as being in structured treatment.*


How does the IPS service work?

Both We Are With You and STaRS have Enable Employment Specialist attached to it. The Enable worker works closely with the substance team workers to support clients who want to find work.

An Employment Specialist will arrange a convenient time and place to meet the client. This is a relaxed and informal meeting where we start to get to know a bit about them and their hopes for the future. Our aim is to get an in-depth understanding of exactly what type of job would suit them and the barriers that might be in the way of finding this job. From here, we can put together a plan to show how we will overcome these barriers and support the individual into the right role.

How to get referred to the IPS service

All the jobseeker needs to do is to speak to their Recovery worker and ask to be referred to Enable.

If an initial meeting with a member of the Enable team is preferred to find out more information before they are referred, we can arrange this too.

The Enable IPS service is open to anyone receiving support is in structured treatment support via services.

Will employers be interested in taking on someone who has been out of work for a long time?

We have successfully supported people back into work who have been out of employment for 20+ years and people who have never worked before. As long as the individual wants to work, we can find the right opportunity for them.

During any period of unemployment, individuals will have often gained skills and had experiences that they may not even recognise – all of this can be very valuable to an employer. The Enable Employment Specialist will spend a lot of time building links with local employers and finding opportunities that would not be advertised – up to 70% of job vacancies are never advertised!

How does this service affect people receiving benefits?

One of the first questions the Enable Employment Specialist will ask a jobseeker is what benefits they receive. We will then support them to access the right benefits advice to ensure that they will be better off in work.

If the jobseeker is a Veteran, please note: this service will not affect their war pension.

Good news story;

Polly was referred to Enable for support to find a new role.

Due to her alcohol use, Polly had lost her job, her confidence and unfortunately gained a criminal record. With no income coming in, ensuring her financial stability was the number one priority. With the support of her Employment Specialist Karen, Polly attended an appointment with Citizens Advice to get her on the right benefits.

Karen worked closely with Polly’s Recovery Worker from We Are With You to make sure that Polly’s recovery remained on track.

Polly and Karen worked on a CV and then began to job search together. There were some setbacks during the first couple of months – Karen supported Polly to remain motivated.

Polly had expressed an interest in getting her Fork Lift Truck Licence; Karen supported her to make this happen. Polly’s confidence and self-esteem grew and it wasn’t long before applications turned into interviews.

A retail position came up which matched all of Polly’s requirements. Karen supported Polly to complete an application and attend an interview. Polly was successful and Karen continued to support through the job offer, induction and training in the new role.

Polly is really pleased to be back in employment and is looking forward to making new friends and expanding her social circle.

Our retention service

Our objectives are to:

Support people facing barriers to employment realise their potential to the mutual benefit of the employer.

Reduce overall sickness absence.

Successfully increase the number of people returning to work who are experiencing difficulties.

Raise awareness, and improve understanding, of addictions in the workplace.


Retention Support

At Enable, we use an evidence-based model of supported employment called Individual Placement and Support (IPS). Research shows that IPS is the most effective way to support people with drug or alcohol barriers to find and remain in employment. Enable is a nationally recognised IPS Centre of Excellence.


It is important that a retention service supports both the employee and their employer. The Job Retention Specialist also works closely with the client’s recovery worker to support the individual to retain employment. Our service is both impartial and confidential.


How does the Job Retention IPS service work?

Meeting – A meeting will take place to get to know the client. This is relaxed and informal, and an opportunity to get to know the individual and understand their hopes for the future. The purpose of this meeting is to get an in-depth understanding of exactly what barriers that person is facing and what support to offer to help that person keep their job and progress.


Plan – From here, we put together a plan to show how we will overcome these barriers and support the individual to retain their job or manage a return to work.


Pro-active – The Job Retention Specialist then works proactively with the client and employer to achieve a healthy, sustainable employment outcome.