Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Social security - UK - New Deal

Action to reduce worklessness: what works?

A.E. Green and C. Hasluck

Local Economy, vol.24, Feb. 2009, p. 28-37

Action to reduce worklessness at a local level - whether through local implementation of national policies or initiatives developed locally - has a role to play in reducing long term unemployment. A review of evidence on 'what works' highlights the importance of outreach provision embedded in the local community to facilitate initial engagement, of a holistic approach focused on the support needed by the workless individual in their household, neighbourhood and local labour market context, and of the provision of continuing support by a personal adviser. Other key factors identified were strong links with employers and the development of skills related to specific vacancies. The establishment and maintenance of effective local partnerships working with core intermediaries also emerged as an important influence.

The role of training and skills development in active labour market policies

N. Meager

International Journal of Training and Development, vol. 13, 2009, p. 1-18

In the light of the growing emphasis on greater integration between skills policy and employment policy in the UK, this review examines international evidence on the effectiveness of training and skills interventions as part of a portfolio of active labour market policies. It is concluded that while large-scale training schemes for the unemployed are ineffective for increasing employment rates or earnings, more targeted programmes addressing specific skill needs or particular groups, such as older workers, may yield positive results, especially when accompanied by 'real' work experience.

Tensions in localising welfare to work in Britain's cities

M. Crighton, I. Turok and C. Leleux

Local Economy, vol. 24, Feb. 2009, p. 46-67

This paper explores two interrelated tensions at the heart of UK welfare to work policy: 1) between competition in the delivery of employment services; and 2) between centralised commissioning and localised planning and alignment of targets and funding. It examines their potential impact on employment programmes at the level of the city through an analysis of the Department for Work and Pensions' Cities Strategy and its Commissioning Strategy. It appears that while the Cities Strategy is building capacity for local planning and management, the commissioning of DWP's own programmes is centralised and prioritises competition rather than local integration and alignment.

Unemployment: the government's response

R. Singler and D. Gibbons

Working Brief, Jan. 2009, p. 3-5

Unemployment in the UK is rising rapidly in 2009 due to the recession. Government is pledged to help people in difficulties by: 1) provision of additional resources for the Department of Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus; 2) focusing on providing education and training opportunities for the unemployed; 3) responding more effectively to large-scale redundancies and improving employer engagement; and 4) providing additional support to the unemployed, in the form, for example, of work-focused volunteering options and financial incentives to employers to recruit and train unemployed people.

The 'welfare market' and the 'Flexible New Deal': lessons from other countries

D. Finn

Local Economy, vol. 24, Feb. 2009, p. 38-45

In future most employment services for people on working-age benefits will be delivered by a range of private, voluntary and public sector organisations operating in a quasi-market. This article critically reviews the development and impacts of such markets in Australia, the USA and the Netherlands. It considers the emergence of problems with 'creaming' and 'parking' of participants and the challenges that commissioners must meet if they are to secure anticipated improvements in service delivery and outcomes.

Welfare to work: from special measures to 80 percent employment

P. Convery

Local Economy, vol. 24, 2009, p. 1-27

This article traces the development of welfare-to-work policies designed to tackle long-term unemployment in the UK and asks whether they remain appropriate in the current recession. Despite the economic downturn, the British government is continuing with policies aimed at activating lone parents and people on incapacity benefits while at the same time contracting out employment services to private providers and devolving the planning of an integrated skills and employment system to regional and local government. The government may be compelling lone parents and the disabled off benefits just as a catastrophic recession dries up the supply of jobs.

Welfare to work: what is success in a recession?

D. Simmonds

Working Brief, Jan. 2009, p. 6-9

This article explores what measures of success should be used for Jobcentre Plus and providers of welfare to work programmes in a period of rapidly rising unemployment. It is argued that success in a recession would involve:

  1. preventing long-term unemployment
  2. maintaining the employability of those who do become long-term unemployed
  3. stopping employment rate gaps for disadvantaged groups and areas from widening.
Search Welfare Reform on the Web