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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2011): Social security - UK - welfare to work

Can the Work Programme succeed?

P. Bivand

Working Brief, Feb. 2011, p. 6-10

This article explores whether the Work Programme can succeed, given its financial design. The Work Programme continues the evolution towards managing programmes by financial incentives rather than detailed contract management. It is likely to be the largest employment programme ever contracted, though much smaller than originally envisaged due to changes in eligibility criteria. For example, it will only be available to Employment and Support Allowance claimants assessed as likely to be fit for work within three months. It is concluded that the performance requirements of the Work Programme are, nationally, challenging but achievable.

Firms offered 14,000 for getting people off dole

C. Hope

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 22nd 2011, p. 8

Employment services providers will be paid between 4,000 and 14,000 for getting long-term unemployed people into work, according to welfare reform minister Lord Freud. Companies contracted to provide services under the new Work Programme will be paid on a sliding scale under which a recently unemployed job seeker would attract a smaller premium than someone who had been claiming benefits for years, lacked confidence and had little work experience.

Maximising the impact of the Work Programme: a local approach

L. Casebourne

Working Brief, Feb. 2011, p. 15-16

This article emphasises the importance of creating 'stepping stone' jobs to both support people back into work and to develop local community enterprise. The approach developed by the CREATE Consortium involves use of a Community Allowance to enable community organisations to pay local unemployed people to do part-time, sessional, or short-term work that strengthens both them and their neighbourhood. The unemployed person would be able to keep these earnings on top of benefits, making work pay and providing a route to employment.

One of a million

A. Hillier

Children and Young People Now, Mar. 18th- 21st 2011, p. 18-19

This article focuses on the plight of the almost one million 18- 24-year-olds in England who are not in employment, education or training. Many have few qualifications or skills, and, in the context of a deep recession, only low-paid, insecure and often part-time work is available to them. Experts in the field suggest solutions.

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