‘Work first’ can work better

‘Work first’ is a core idea that underpins the UK’s employment and welfare systems, and effective ‘work first’ orientated systems have long-term, paid employment as the primary goal for people interacting with them. This is the right objective, but with work entry rates for unemployed benefit claimants falling, health-related inactivity rising sharply and millions of people not claiming benefits locked out of support, urgent improvement is needed to reach it.

For the unemployed, the Jobcentre has become a Universal Credit (UC) monitoring service rather than an employment service. By updating DWPs own figures, we estimate that the department now spends £350 million a year on monitoring claimants, the equivalent of over half of the annual spend on work coach salaries. The estimated 13 million hours a year that work coaches spend monitoring claimants crowds out the opportunity for support which could help people towards work.

Click here to read more

LinkedIn: Connect online & join Neil Thompson’s HUMANSOLUTIONS discussion group

Read more