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

Coping with economic change

P. Bivand

Working Brief, issue 168, 2005, p.20-22

Article argues that, instead of trying to economically regenerate areas where employment is in serious decline, government should encourage workers to move to areas where jobs are more plentiful. The remit of Jobcentre Plus should be extended to include finding homes for people willing to relocate to find work.

Gaining and retaining a job: the Department for Work and Pensions’ support for disabled people

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2005/06; HC 455)

Some disabled people will never be able to work but for those who can, having a job can have significant positive impacts such as developing skills and confidence and providing a higher income. Around 125,000 people are involved in the Department's specialist employment focused programmes for the people. Advisers within Jobcentre Plus are responsible for assessing the level of support a disabled person needs to return to the workplace and for referring him/her to appropriate services. Assistance ranges from help with confidence building, and training in job search and interview techniques to covering the cost of expensive adaptations to the workplace and extensive in-work support. This report identifies what is working well and where improvement is needed.

Lone parents: the route to 70% employment

C. Pond

Working Brief, issue 167, 2005, p.13-15

The government has set itself the target of getting 70% of lone parents into work by 2010. In order to achieve this the government needs to: 1) improve the supply of affordable childcare; 2) make the workplace more family friendly; 3) encourage participation in the New Deal for Lone Parents; and 4) provide more in-work support to enable those who get jobs to keep them and to build careers.

Realising potential

C. Jackson

Mental Health Today, Oct.2005, p.8-9

Introduces the government's Pathways to Work scheme, which helps people to leave Incapacity Benefit and re-enter the labour market. Claimants eligible for the scheme are required to attend a work-focused interview and participate in job-seeking activities. In return they are offered a £40.00 per week return to work credit, and the "Choices package", which includes the option of referral to the specialist employment support and advice offered by the New Deal for Disabled People or to a condition management programme run by the local primary care trust. The latest statistics show that the scheme is achieving some success in getting people off Incapacity Benefit and into jobs.

We want to be able to work

G. Morgan

Mental Health Today, Oct. 2005, p.32-34

The Highland Users Group is a network of people who use mental health services in the Scottish Highlands. The Group asked its members about their views on employment, and found that most wanted to work. However they were prevented by discrimination by employers and by lack of in-work support. Members agreed that employers need to provide a mentally healthy work environment with low levels of stress.

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