The problem solvers

By Cllr Richard Watts | 25 November 2015

The Work Programme isn’t working for those who need it most: residents facing a real challenge to access employment, especially those who are disabled or have a health condition. Recent research reveals less than one in four participants secured a sustained job outcome, below initial expectations for the scheme.

The ambition behind the Work Programme is, of course, commendable. But, to date, its design lacked three key ingredients. It hasn’t had enough investment to pay for the kind of support needed by those on the labour market’s distant margins. It hasn’t benefited from enough integration between employment support and skills and other public services – health, for example. It hasn’t been innovative enough in the sorts of support it offers.

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