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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Social Security - UK - New Deal

BEHIND THE BUZZWORD: EMPLOYABILITY

J. Philpott
Employment Policy Institute. Economic Report, vol. 12, no. 10, 1999, 25 p.

Report unpacks the concept of employability and considers the meaning of the buzzword in relation to specific policies designed to combat structural joblessness and low pay, in particular the government's New Deal for the young unemployed.

CRITICS UNCONVINCED BY OFFICIAL NEW DEAL FIGURES

M. Whitehead
People Management, vol. 5, 14 Jan. 1999, p. 10.

While the government and its supporters have hailed the New Deal as a major success in reducing unemployment, critics continue to question the scheme's effectiveness, claiming that official figures have been manipulated to present a rosy picture.

DOING THE RIGHT THING: LABOUR'S ATTEMPT TO FORGE A NEW WELFARE DEAL BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE STATE

E. Heron and P. Dwyer
Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p. 91-104.

Perceived shortcomings in the existing welfare system inspired Labour to launch the Welfare to Work Scheme. The new deal on offer is built around the promise that, in future, if the government provides work opportunities, individuals must take the opportunities offered. Harsh benefit sanctions for refusal to work or train are at the heart of Labour's strategy for the young and long-term unemployed. Individuals who refuse to "do the right thing" as defined by New Labour, run the risk of being excluded from collectively funded welfare.

FROM CLINTON TO BLAIR: THE DEMOCRATIC (PARTY) ORIGINS OF WELFARE TO WORK

D. King and M. Wickham-Jones
Political Quarterly, vol. 70, 1999, p. 62-74.

The Labour Party's welfare to work programme reproduces the Democrats' tough stance on welfare issues. Just how important the American experience has been for New Labour is hard to assess. There was a powerful electoral impulse behind the adoption of welfare to work following the party's defeat in the 1992 general election. The party's decision to focus upon work and job subsidies reflects the results of academic research indicating that previous initiatives to tackle poverty through benefits programmes have failed. The focus upon job subsidies in the welfare to work programme is also reminiscent of the employment measures of the 1974-79 Labour government, and such proposals have been the subject of much attention from UK based think tanks.

JOBLESS SLIDE 'FAILS TO BACK NEW DEAL CLAIM'

G. Trefgame
Daily Telegraph, Feb. 18th 1999, p. 33.

Economists at the office for the National Statistics (ONS) say that the New Deal for the Young Unemployed has had no significant effect on unemployment. This contrasts with the Department for Education and Employment which proclaims the New Deal a success. It says that 100,000 people have gone through the New Deal, 57,800 now have jobs, of which 13,790 are subsidised, and the remainder are on training courses.

(See also Guardian, Feb. 18th 1999, p. 21)

NEW DEAL BEGINS TO FACE REALITY

K. Fox
Personnel to-day, March 4th 1999, p. 15.

Research has shown the New Deal initiative struggling in inner city areas such as Glasgow, Birmingham, Camden, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. This appears to be due to high staff turnover and sickness absence in inner city Employment Service units. More attention must be paid to matching job descriptions to candidates, and the key personnel operating the scheme must be well prepared.

THE NEW DEAL FOR YOUNG UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE: A SUMMARY OF PROGRESS

J. Atkinson
Sheffield: Employment Service, 1999

Early indications of the effects of the New Deal on Individual and employer participants are generally positive. Broader effects on the labour market as a whole will take longer to emerge, but by November 1998 there was already evidence of a positive effect on outflows from unemployment without corresponding evidence of negative side-effects on other groups of job-seekers.

THEY'RE WORKING, BUT IS IT?

M Atkinson
Guardian, March 4th 1999, p. 15

Analysis of the impact of the New Deal for the Young Unemployed on the UK labour market and its role in preventing the rise of unemployment at a time when economic growth is slowing rapidly.

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