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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2005): Social Security - UK - New Deal

European Social Fund: a profile of 'inactive' beneficiaries

J. Taylor and W. O'Connor

Department for Work and Pensions, 2005 (Research report; 254)

The report presents the findings of a qualitative study of economically inactive recipients of European Social Fund (ESF) Objective 3-funded training. The study focused on disabled people, people with long term illnesses not actively seeking work, lone parents in receipt of benefits, people with intensive caring responsibilities, and women returners to the labour market not registered as unemployed. The main conclusion is that, while the ESF can assist the more work-oriented recipients in their journey towards employment, it has less effect on those for whom work was not an option or a consideration prior to their participation in the training.

Understanding workless people and communities

J. Casebourne

Working Brief, issue 166, 2005, p.13-15

As part of the working neighbourhoods pilot, a literature review was commissioned to assess the existing evidence on the psychology of unemployment and on attitudes to work and worklessness. The review showed that in order to understand the phenomenon of worklessness, it is necessary to look at individual behaviour in the broader context of the communities and areas in which people live. The persistence of worklessness in the face of labour market buoyancy suggests barriers to taking up work on the individual level are likely to be complex, deep-rooted and multi-faceted. Finally, workless people often have problematic experiences of the workplace and may need intensive pre-employment support.

Welfare to work: tackling the barriers to the employment of older people

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2004/05: HC 439)

Reports on progress in tackling the barriers to the employment of older people:

  • too many people in the over-50 age group, who would like to work, are unemployed or inactive.
  • although the growth in the number on incapacity benefits has slowed significantly, the figure for those claiming is still twice as high as in the late 1980s
  • compared with some other New Deals, performance information for New Deal 50 Plus is poor
  • the Department does not intend to change significantly the number of staff working in the role of Personal Advisers as it reduces its staffing by 30,000 by 2008
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