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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2000): Social Security - UK - New Deal

CHILD POVERTY: THE UNICEF REPORT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UK

M. Roberts

ChildRight, no. 168, 2000, p. 3-5

Article considers the approach to child poverty taken in the UNICEF report "Child Poverty in the Rich Nations" and discusses its findings. Concludes that the government cannot eliminate child poverty through welfare to work programmes because around half of all poor children live in households where parents are unavailable for work through sickness or disability or because a child is under school age. By paying higher benefits to these families government would compromise its commitment to self-reliance and encouraging families to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

THE GEOGRAPHICAL CONCENTRATION OF LABOUR MARKET DISADVANTAGE

D. Webster

Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 16, 2000, p. 114-128

Paper argues that joblessness in the UK is concentrated north-west of a line from the Bristol Channel to the Wash. It is also a feature of the former industrial cities and coalfields. All the target groups for welfare-to-work programmes are concentrated in the same areas as the unemployed. Policy therefore cannot be fully effective in eliminating unemployment unless programmes aimed at improving employability and work incentives are complemented by demand-side policies to bring work to these areas. This means more spending on derelict land reclamation, industrial property development and associated road and public transport infrastructure.

KEEPING TRACK OF WELFARE REFORM: THE NEW DEAL PROGRAMMES

J. Millar

York: York Publishing Services, 2000

Drawing on over 20 evaluation studies on the New Deals report analyses the experience so far. Findings show that as a result of the programmes, just under half of the young people, two fifths of the lone parents and one in six of the long term unemployed who have participated have found work. Three in four of the young people and five in six of the long term unemployed people who found jobs were still in them three months later. Estimates that the New Deal for Young People led to reduction in youth unemployment by about 30,000 in its first year. However, there is evidence that the New Deals are better at serving people who need a bit of help than those who need a lot due to their relatively low emphasis on training.

MISMATCH SEEN BETWEEN SKILLS AND VACANCIES

D. Turner

Financial Times, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 5

Reports statistical evidence of a mismatch between job requirements and existing skills in the UK. Cambridge Econometrics have found that 26% of unemployment benefit claimants are registered in location s where both the unemployment and the vacancy rate are above the national.

NEW DEAL FOR HEALTH

K. Weekes

Community Practitioner, vol. 73, 2000, p. 715

Explores the role of health visitors in implementing the New Deals for the unemployed.

NEW DEAL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TWO YEARS ON

Education and Employment Committee

London: TSO, 2000 (House of Commons papers session 1999/2000; HC510)

Criticises the New Deal for the Young Unemployed on the grounds that it is creating far too many short-term posts and costing far more than the 4000 per job claimed by the government. Shows that more than 215,000 people aged 18-24 have found jobs through the scheme, but of those, 53,000 were dismissed or left within 13 weeks. Most of these young people returned to the programme after an intervening period on benefits.

NEW PERFORMANCE TARGETS FOR EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

P. Bivand

Working Brief, issue 116, 2000, p. 10-12

Article analyses the new performance targets set for the Employment Service (ES) for 2000/01. The targets are designed to ensure that the ES sees it as a priority to find jobs for people on welfare benefits such as Income Support or Incapacity Benefit. The commitment to customer service remains, but only where the customers are employers. There is pressure on the ES to place claimants in any job, however unsuitable, to meet their placement targets, and the earlier approach of working together with unemployed people to find them sustained high-quality jobs seems to have been downgraded.

TORIES PLEDGE TO SCRAP LABOUR'S NEW DEAL

R. Bennett

Financial Times, July 14th 2000, p. 2

Reports Conservative plans to scrap Labour's New Deals for the Unemployed and replace them with a system modelled on "America Works". This would involve paying private recruitment agencies up to 3000 per person to place the unemployed in jobs. The training element of the New Deal would be abandoned, with only instruction in basic skills being given. Recalcitrant claimants would have their benefits withdrawn.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 14th 2000, p. 4; Guardian, July 14th 2000, p. 4)

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