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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2001): Social Security - UK - New Deal

5,000 IT VACANCIES SET ASIDE FOR JOBLESS

D Teather

Guardian, Mar 27th 2001, p.22

Around 5,000 vacancies in IT companies will be reserved for the long-term unemployed, single parents and young New Dealers. In return the government will pay for 7,500 people to train in information technology skills under the scheme called Ambition: IT.

(See also Independent, Mar 27th, 2001, p.8).

BLAIR SET TO AIM HELP AT UNREGISTERED JOBLESS

N. Timmins, C Adams and S Briscoe

Financial Times, Mar 15th 2001, p.2

Discusses how 4 million of the "economically inactive" will be targeted by the New Deal II programme and encouraged through new "work-focused" interviews. It is aimed at lone parents, people with disabilities and those unemployed people who are the hardest to help. Article goes on to discuss how the programme will be carried out.

CHARITIES AND THE "NEW DEAL": COMPACT RELATIONS?

A Cartwright and D Morris

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol.23, 2001, p.65-78.

Charities are playing a significant role in the implementation of the government's New Deal programme. From providing advice on local employment issues to work placements to administrative services, the voluntary sector has been working in public/private partnerships in England and Wales. Article examines working relations between charities and the state post Compact, using charities' participation in the New Deal as a case study. Argues that participating charities face a series of potential legal pitfalls. They may also find that, instead of being fully funded by the State, their participation in the delivery of the New Deal is partially funded through their own charitable resources.

DEALED OUT? WELFARE TO WORK AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

D Smith

Local Economy, vol.15, 2000, p.312-324

Article begins by exploring the government's current conceptualisation of social exclusion as exclusion from employment and how this has shaped the appropriate policy response. Following this, article presents ethnographic research that examines the responses of a sample of residents on a South London estate to the economic insecurities they face. These insecurities are intensified by an increasingly coercive welfare system that emphasizes "supply side" measures as a panacea for social exclusion. Many have developed alternative solutions to economic marginality that may appear more attractive than the more formal routes currently offered.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN: WHERE DO NEW DEALERS GO?

P Bivand

Working Brief, issue 122, 2001, p.12-14

Early New Deal statistics showed alarming numbers leaving to unknown destinations. Recent research shows that the majority (56%) of these went into work.

JOB TRANSITION SERVICE PROPOSED

D Boyer

Working Brief, issue 122, 2001, p.10-11

Sudden closures and large scale redundancies produce "shockwaves" in a local labour market. Government is proposing introduction of a Job Transition Service (JTS) to alleviate the problems. The JTS would provide intensive, individually-tailored advice and support to people affected by large scale redundancy. It would also work with potential employers to analyse their skills needs, match them against potential recruits and run skill development programmes to close the gap.

JOB CENTRES CHANGE ACROSS THE BOARD

N Timmins

Financial Times, Mar 20th 2001, p.6

Reports introduction of new technology into the Employment Service. A central database containing details of vacancies nationwide can be accessed by phone, via the Internet and through kiosks at local job centres. This is freeing staff to offer intensive one-to-one advice and counselling to job seekers.

LABOUR IMPOSES TOUGH NEW RULES ON JOBLESS

M Atkinson

Guardian, Mar 14th 2001, p.1

The government will be adopting an 'employment first' principle under the New Deal programme which sees Britain moving towards a US style "workfare" system. All those claiming benefits will be forced to take subsidised jobs, training, voluntary work or a place on an environmental taskforce, or face losing their entitlement to job seeker's allowance. This tougher line follows a fall in unemployment to below 1m for the first time in 25 years, with more than 1m unfilled job vacancies.

LONE PARENTS SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO WORK, SAY ACTIVISTS

J Sherman and G Duncan

Times, Mar 15th 2001, p.4

As from next month, all lone mothers with children aged five and over will be required to attend a work-focused interview. As from October all single mothers, including those with children under five, will have to turn up for a work-focused interview or lose benefits. Although lone parents will have the choice of whether to take a job or not, it is feared that it may be the first step towards compulsory work.

NEW DEAL: AN EVALUATION

Education and Employment Committee

London: TSO, 2001 (House of Commons papers. Session 2000/01; HC 58)

In their fifth report on the New Deal welfare-to-work programme, the Committee expresses concern that up to 40% of clients end up in short term employment in entry level jobs. It also criticises government departments for being apparently unwilling to recruit New Dealers. There is concern about the high costs of the scheme, with some studies estimating that each New Dealer could cost the taxpayer between £7,000 and £11,000.

NEW DEAL FOR LONE PARENTS A FLOP, SAY TORIES

P Waugh

Independent, Apr 6th 2001, p.8

The New Deal for lone parent scheme has been described as an "expensive failure". Figures have shown that less than a quarter of those on the scheme have found employment. The scheme has so far cost around £100m or £11,000 a job over the last three years.

NEW DEAL PUTS FOCUS ON JOBS FOR ETHNIC MINORITIES

J Kelly

Financial Times, Mar 14th 2001, p.4

The second phase of the government's New Deal programme includes a £15m fund to help those in ethnic minorities with poor employment prospects. £40m is also going towards finding mentors and funding basic training to help former drug addicts and those who have been involved in crime. All unemployed people of working age will be expected to attend for "work focused" interviews under the "employment first" principle set out in the Budget. A £200m-a-year scheme will also offer intensive coaching for people who find it hard to get a job, backed by benefits sanctions for those who refuse training.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Mar 15th 2001, p.2; Guardian, Mar 15th 2001, p.10.)

TOWARDS FULL EMPLOYMENT IN A MODERN SOCIETY

Department for Education and Employment

London: TSO, 2001 (Cm 5084)

Proposals include broadening welfare-to-work programmes to focus more on those who are economically inactive and long-term unemployed adults, improving skills training to meet the needs of employers, targeting those unemployed people who are hardest to help, and improving service delivery through the new Working Age Agency.