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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2010): Social security - UK - New Deal

'Most of industry's shutting down up here ...': employability initiatives to tackle worklessness in areas of low labour market demand

K.E. Joyce and others

Social Policy and Society, vol. 9, 2010, p. 337-353

In this article the authors use qualitative methods to explore the impact of employability initiatives on the health, well-being and labour market attachment of people who participated in a programme in Sedgefield, County Durham. The study mapped the impacts of this multi-intervention programme on participants' health, wellbeing and employability. Each of the 13 interventions was separately appraised through focus groups or semi-structured interviews. Thematic analyses revealed that participants from all interventions reported increased self-confidence, with several individuals suggesting that project involvement had facilitated their movement into the labour market. However, structural barriers to employment continue to exist in the form of a lack of accessible and desirable jobs. There is little evidence that policymakers are addressing these more daunting barriers.

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