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

Free personal trainers for the unemployed

M. Evans

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 31st 2011, p. 6

This article introduces a scheme being piloted by employment agency Working Links in Plymouth under which the long-term unemployed are being offered free fitness coaching with a personal trainer in an attempt to increase their motivation to find work. The initiative had a success rate of 55% over 18 months, with more than half of participants going on to find paid work. The employment agency Working Links was paid its fee only when a client had been in employment for more than six months. It was planning to roll the scheme out across South West England.

Getting disabled people into work

M. Miller

Working Brief, Autumn 2011, p. 6-7

This article outlines the government support available to ensure that disabled people can access and sustain jobs in mainstream workplaces, focusing on the Work Choices and Access to Work schemes. It finally outlines options for the reform of Remploy factories which currently offer segregated employment for disabled people. This model is unacceptable in the 21st century.

GPs to tell long-term jobless to find work

S. Adams

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 1st 2011, p. 1 + 2

The Department for Work and Pensions responded to a General Medical Council consultation and suggested that GPs should regard a patient returning to work as an 'essential' indicator of successful clinical treatment. The request was accepted and has been included in a new draft of the GMC's Good Medical Practice guidance issued for consultation, despite claims that doctors were being asked to police unemployment. The Department also suggested that doctors should ask patients their work status when they attended an appointment, but this was rejected.

Supporting workless families in disadvantaged communities

A. Levitt

Working Brief, Autumn 2011, p. 26-27

Tomorrow's People is a national employment charity which helps people in deprived communities to move out of unemployment and welfare dependency and into sustainable jobs. Its approach is based on tackling negative attitudes and barriers to work within the family unit as a whole. This article showcases its Families Matter Most project, which is offering tailored support to workless households on the Park Wood Estate in Maidstone, Kent.

Teenagers to be given jobs funded by the taxpayer

R. Winnett

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 25th 2011, p. 1 + 4

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced a 1bn Youth Contract to tackle unemployment among young people. The scheme will be funded by freezing tax credits for up to three years. Under the Youth Contract 160,000 workers aged between 16 and 24 will have half of their wages paid by the state for their first six months in a job. The scheme will pay half the minimum wage, worth 2,275, to employers who will then make up the difference. Another 250,000 young people will be offered work experience, lasting up to eight weeks, during which they will continue to receive benefits. Money will also be paid to firms taking on another 20,000 apprentices. Teenagers failing to engage positively with the Youth Contract and take up job placements could be forced to accept them. Those dropping out of the programmes might have their benefits removed.

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