Jobcentres are failing to help people find long-term work and should be restructured to enable private companies and charities to compete with government providers to offer more personalised and specialist support to jobseekers. Joined up Welfare shows that just over a third (36%) of people using jobcentres find sustained work. Many find themselves in and out of employment largely due to having barriers to work which are not fully dealt with. There are, for example, 11.5 million people in Britain with a long-term health condition while up to 18% of the working age population has a mental health problem. An estimated 10,000 16-18 year olds leave care each year. The government’s welfare reforms have improved matters, but there is still too much duplication and inefficiency in the system.
Quite often a jobseeker might suffer from a range of issues but the current welfare system fails to deal with overlapping problems from the beginning of the process. People are sometimes referred to a range of different services that operate independently of each other. For example, someone suffering from a lack of training, mental health issues and who has been out of work for a long period of time might receive support from six different providers. This is confusing and expensive. The report says that the system is in urgent need of reform and proposes that the next logical direction of reform is a radical new structure centred around the specific needs of the individual.