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Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Social security - overseas

The construction of gendered citizenship at the welfare office: an ethnographic comparison of welfare-to-work workshops in the United States and the Netherlands

A.C. Korteweg

Social Politics, vol.13, 2006, p.313-340

In 1996 both the Netherlands and the USA adopted welfare legislation that aimed to exchange single mothers’ reliance on the welfare state for dependence on paid work. This article explores how the reforms were implemented in practice through an analysis of data gathered through participant observation at workshops on two sites, one in the USA and one in the Netherlands. Results suggest that in the USA the policy was implemented in such a way as to force women to adopt male patterns of paid work, without recognition of their caring responsibilities. In the Netherlands, however, women were encouraged to adopt work practices that fitted in with their caring responsibilities.

Risks and resources: social capital among social assistance recipients in Norway

C. Hyggen

Social Policy and Administration, vol.40, 2006, p.493-508

This article investigates whether an individual’s social capital, ie resources within a person’s family, networks and organisational affiliations, affects the risk of receiving social assistance in youth and young adulthood. The research used a combination of register data and survey data from the longitudinal “Work, Lifestyle and Health” survey to track nearly 2000 individuals from 1985-2003. Results pointed towards intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency, as not growing up in a two-parent family and parents’ receipt of benefits both increased young people’s chances of receiving social assistance. Beyond this, risk of receipt of social assistance was associated with deficits in human capital, eg low educational attainment, not with characteristics of social networks.

The temporary staffing industry and workforce development

M. Doussard and N. Theodore

Local Economy, vol.21, 2006, p.264-278

Employment services in liberal market states are charged with the task of re-inserting discouraged jobseekers and other hard-to-employ individuals into local labour markets. At the same time they generally lack the funding, policy-making powers and regulatory scope to alter the structure of local labour demand. Increasingly, they have turned to temporary staffing agencies as private sector partners of choice for improving job placement outcomes. This article presents case study evaluations of three diverse employment schemes undertaken by American workforce authorities in conjunction with temporary staffing agencies.

Vocational training for the unemployed: its impact on uncommonly served groups

L. Hebbar

International Journal of Manpower, vol.27, 2006, p.377-395

This paper aims to examine the impact of vocational training on unemployed workers not typically studied: women enrolled in engineering or computer programming training and high school dropouts. Using data from New Jersey’s Individual Training Grant (ITG) programme and a quasi-experimental design, the study compares ITG groups’ re-employment and wage recovery rates with a matched comparison group. The results suggest that training improves re-employment chances and that type of training matters with respect to wage recovery. In this sample, those enrolled in truck driving training, engineering and computer programming tended to experience higher wage recovery than their comparison group.

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