Working Brief, issue 186, 2007, p. 6-9
This article examines the government's green paper on welfare reform published in July 2007 under the title In work, better off. This sets out the government's aim to eradicate child poverty and reach the 80% employment goal by creating a new, integrated employment and skills system. The green paper proposes a more flexible and personalised service for job seekers and a stronger focus on job retention and progression. It commits the government to work with major employers in a 'Jobs Pledge' that promises to offer a quarter of a million jobs to disadvantaged people. The government will require many lone parents to switch from Income Support to Jobseekers Allowance, thereby requiring them to seek work. Many more employability services will be provided through private and third sector organisations.
Youth and Policy, no. 96, 2007, p. 65-85
The Blair government's flagship New Deal for Young People has been extensively evaluated, but subject to little academic research or critical assessment. These evaluations have failed to pick up ways in which the New Deal programme is perpetuating inequalities between minority ethnic groups. A review of official data suggests reduced levels of participation by these groups, increased exclusion, and persistent underperformance, especially amongst young black people. The paper concludes by proposing key features of a research agenda that could help the programme achieve greater inter-ethnic equality.
Work and Pensions Committee
London: TSO, 2007 (House of Commons papers, session 2006/07; HC63)
The Department for Work and Pensions has an aspiration of achieving an 80% employment rate, which it describes as a 'modern vision of full employment'. This report critically reviews the Department's strategy for achieving this aim. It identifies key challenges faced by the current strategy, including:
Working Brief, issue 186, 2007, p. 10-12
The author argues for a continuing role for JobCentre Plus in assessing eligibility and making benefit payments. It should also deliver employment services to people with good prospects of finding work in the early stages of their claim. However those requiring specialist help should be referred to private and voluntary sector employment services providers, which should be offered financial rewards for getting people with multiple disadvantages into work and keeping them there for a year. These payments for success could be funded out of benefits savings.
Public Finance, Aug. 17th-30th 2007, p. 20-23
Government remains committed to the idea that entry into the labour market is the best way for people to escape from poverty. This article comments on the governments latest plans for welfare to work, set out in the 2007 green paper In work, better off. This proposes that: