Welfare To Work Programmes Social Policy Essay

Social welfare to work programmes have been used by authoritiess since the 1980 ‘s to joint a desire to replace inactive support for unemployment and active steps to assist promote people to acquire into paid work. The Labour authorities reiterated this rule, but took a figure of new attacks constructing up to an ambitious programme for public assistance reform for people of working age. This essay will analyze the beginnings and principle of New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme. It will besides analyze the impact it has had on people and unemployment since the programme has been introduced.

While there is grounds that public assistance to work programmes has been around before 1997 ( when Labour came into power ) , their consequences were patchy and they had non been uninterrupted. When the Conservative ‘s were in power, their policies were criticised because it was more concerned with understating fraud than maximizing work, and it encouraged dependence and at bay people in unemployment. By 1995, Gordon Brown, the so Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, argued that authorities could non merely make occupations, but “its function was to advance macroeconomic stableness and supply economic and employment chances for all” ( Field & A ; White, 2007 ) . He so proposed that the future authorities should establish New Deal for under 25 ‘s.

Subsequently, 1996 the unemployed in Britain were redefined as “jobseekers” by the 1996 Jobseekers Act ( HMSO, 1994 ) . To measure up for the new jobseekers allowance ( JSA ) required that unemployed persons to come in an understanding bespeaking the stairss they intended to take to look for a work and the minimal rewards they would accept. Jobseekers were given counsel in looking for occupations in a peculiar manner, to take other stairss to better their employability or take part in preparation strategies. Under the JSA understanding, claimants have to perpetrate to active occupation seeking behavior, and they had to subscribe a declaration to which they understood that their benefit eligibility would be affected if they do non make plenty to happen work, are deemed unavailable for work or act in any manner to cut down their opportunities of acquiring work. Failure to follow with the jobseekers understanding will finally ensue in benefit countenances. It was believed that most unemployed looked for occupations but the JSA system was designed to escalate activity and set force per unit area on those who were truly non looking for work. However, following the debut of JSA there was increased occupation hunt activity with the freshly unemployed but it was less effectual with the long term unemployed.

New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme is based on a typically American “workfare” attack. Workfare refers to the demand that people who are judged able to work and available to work must seek and accept work in the regular labor market. The reforms have which have taken topographic point have originated and been influenced by US-styled workfare. However, this move towards a US-styled public assistance is non a new tendency, the British policy shapers have been influenced by US public assistance systems in the yesteryear when the Conservatives were in power. Governments have ever been cautious and immune about being referred to as a US-styled workfare, opposed by both the right and left for different grounds: “the right disliked the disbursal involved puting up developing strategies and the left sees any component of irresistible impulse as anathema” ( Daguerre, 2004 ) . Nevertheless, merely before Conservatives lost office, they moved more towards workfare through a proposed large-scale extension of “Project Work” ( A programme necessitating the long-run unemployed to work portion clip in community undertakings ) . The start of the programme Restart, The Stricter Benefit Regime and Employment Training programmes was besides a measure nearer to a US-styled workfare ( Peck, 2001 ) .

New Labour ‘s flagship was New Deal, it placed more accent on developing than any old policies, and it besides promoted irresistible impulse for mark groups. The new public assistance system under New Labour appears to hold strong reverberations and similarities to the US-styled workfare and this can be clearly seen from the Labour Party ‘s policies which indicate strong accent on doing work wage and non the other manner unit of ammunition, in which dependence on benefits would pay for people. Furthermore, the redesign of New Deal in 2001, Labour ‘s 2nd term, was working more towards traveling as many people of working age into the labour-market. This is influenced by American thoughts in a few ways. First, the authorities was advancing a “work foremost approach” and acquiring people to work and non trust on benefits. Second, the formation of the “Jobcentre Plus” , which is a individual point of service to all benefit claimants. This is partly based on American Administration. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer quoted that the Jobcentre Plus is at that place to supply everyone with the aid they need to happen work, rapidly as possible, and it is a work foremost attack ( Daguerre, 2004 ) . Third, the greater irresistible impulse is based on the American attack. This involves the debut to work-focused interviews for benefit claimants, peculiarly for lone parents.

In 1997, the future Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke about New Labour ‘s attack to welfare reform would concentrate on services, non merely hard currency benefits, and would be designed to assist people run into alteration in an progressively insecure universe. New Labour would increase the employability through instruction and accomplishments and an active employment service. Labour came in to power in 1997 and one month after winning power, the Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed that the greatest challenge to his “welfare to work” authorities was to remake the establishments to convey new workless category back in to society ( Finn, 2003 ) . Shortly following this address, in 1997, New Deal for 18-25 old ages old was introduced. It became something of a political mantra for New Labour, in which there would be “no 5th option” of a life on benefit ; and those declining to follow with the regulations would be docked 40 per centum of their benefit ( Peck, 2001 ) . New Deal represents the first existent effort to implement activation policies for the unemployed in Britain.

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Labour ‘s first term in authorities highlighted the public presentation of the economic system and an addition in employment. At a clip when there was a much needed alteration in the public assistance province, New Labour came in to power and did merely that. The Prime Minister Tony Blair promised employment chances for all and committed the authorities towards full employment over the following decennary. When the Conservatives were in power, their policies made people dependent on benefits and trapped them into unemployment. New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme would set a halt to this and do work wage, and non do benefits pay. Labour ‘s grounds for a reform on public assistance province is to convey the workless category back in to society. Blair made a address stating ; “Now at the stopping point of the twentieth century, the diminution of old industries and the displacement to an economic system based on cognition and accomplishments has given rise to a new category: a workless category. … A big minority is playing no function in the formal economic system, dependant on benefits and the black economic system… Today the greatest challenge for any democratic authorities is to remake our establishments to convey this new workless category back into society and into utile work, and to convey back the will to win.” ( Tony Blair, address at the Aylesbury Estate, June 1997 ) The principle of New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme is set to assist those that are disadvantaged into employment and cut down the trust of benefits ; the terminal consequence would be an addition in employment and decreases on people populating off benefits. Blair insisted that there would be “no no-go countries for New Labour” and at the bosom of all the policy alterations, public assistance reform was on the top of the list. Welfare to work is defined by New Labour both as political and as an economic undertaking ; it is concerned with rejoining the hapless in to paid work, and aid people get into existent occupations to undertake poorness. The undertaking of the Labour authorities was seen one of extremist and work reenforcing reform, and the undertaking for public assistance receivers would be to collaborate and react enthusiastically to the new chances ( Labour Party, 1997 ) .

The New Deal programme was introduced after two decennaries in which kid poorness had doubled ; the figure of people on incapacity benefit had risen by 1.5 million ; and more than 80,000 immature people had been on unemployment benefit for more than a twelvemonth ( DWP, 2008 ) . New Labour had promised to acquire 250,000 under 25 years-olds off benefits and into work. The public assistance to work budget was funded by the manner of a £5.2 billion through a “windfall tax” on the net incomes of privatised public-service corporations ( Peck, 2001 ) . The first precedence was to undertake long-run young person unemployment. The New Deal for Young People ( NDYP ) was introduced to get down with ; so New Deals for the long-run unemployed ( New Deal 25 Plus ) ; New Deal for Lone Parents ( NDLP ) ; New Deal for spouses was introduced for the spouses of the unemployed ; New Deal 50 Plus ; and New Deal for Disabled People ( NDDP ) was introduced, which was mostly provided by voluntary and private sector. The aims of the New Deals were to increase long-run employability and aid immature and long-run unemployed people, lone parents and handicapped people into existent occupations.

NDYP is a compulsory programme for 18-25 year-olds who have been claiming jobseekers for six months. However, it is at the six month phase, benefit becomes conditional and claimants enter another phase of New Deal. New Deal has three phases ; a gateway, an options and a follow through. Each of these phases aims to heighten the opportunities of people set downing a occupation. The gateway period comes after six months of unemployment and lasts up to four months. At this phase, persons are assigned to a personal adviser, who helps claimants find work and provides counsel. If after the four month gateway period participants fail to happen work, they so enter the option phase. During this period each person is required to take up the following four options: employer arrangement, voluntary-sector work, instruction or preparation, or a rank of an environmental undertaking force ( Field & A ; White, 2007 ) . These phases on the New Deal programme are in topographic point to assistance people to derive cognition, experience, accomplishments, and hence better their opportunities of happening existent occupations. The intent of the New Deal programme is to better employability, because in the terminal employment goes to the employable and in this increasing planetary competition, persons need to be able to accommodate to larning new accomplishments.

New Deal has promoted work for lone parents and handicapped people, for whom occupation hunt is a status of having benefit. Work-focussed interviews have become compulsory and it is an attack to which all working age persons who are populating on benefits consider the possibility of come ining the labor market ( JRF, 2004 ) . Until late in the UK lone parents were non obliged to register for work until their youngest kid was 16. However, this has now changed and as proposed by the Green Paper, from October 2008 lone parents with older kids will no longer be entitled to Income Support entirely on the evidences of being a lone parent ( DWP, 2007 ) . Alternatively those who are able to work can claim Jobseeker ‘s Allowance and they will be required to look for work. From October 2010, lone parents with the youngest kid aged 7 or over will no longer be able to have benefits on the evidences of being a lone parent.

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Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme has introduced major revenue enhancement and benefit reforms which, in combination with new rights at work, including the national lower limit pay, are targeted at doing work wage. The development of revenue enhancement credits has expanded and transformed support for people with low incomes. The household recognition was replaced by Child Tax Credit for parents with low income and the Working Tax Credit was introduced for those on low net incomes. Together with the lower limit pay, it has given people the inducement to work. Tax Creditss have been linked to a wider aim of cut downing child poorness, and it lifted comparative kid poorness by half a million ( Finn, 2003 ) . The authorities believes work is the best path out of poorness, and by presenting Tax Credits, the authorities is bettering incomes for all kids with parents that are non in paid work or in low-paid occupations. Tax Creditss have improved unemployment and poorness traps, by guaranting persons are entitled to more from working than from benefits. However, this policy has been criticised for increasing dependence on employment, widening agencies proving up the salary graduated table and the possible impact on work inducement and employer wage-behaviour.

The New Deals have been capable to an intense rating programme. The impact of New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme has been important in cut downing unemployment, and figures illustrate that “the figure of people claiming Jobseeker ‘s Allowance is at its lowest for over 30 old ages. The figure of long-run claimants unemployed has fallen from more than half a million to 125,000 ; while for immature people it has fallen from 85,000 to fewer than 7,000″ ( DWP, 2008 ) . By the terminal of 2001, it was suggested that half a million people had found occupations through the assorted New Deals and 53 per centum of NDYP departers were come ining occupations ( Finn, 2003 ) . The most dramatic impact was with those who were unemployed for over a twelvemonth, where the figure fell from 90,700 to 5,100, a slump about 95 per centum ( JRF, 2004 ) . Assorted independent researches confirm that New Deal has been successful in assisting people find work. Research by the institute of Fiscal Studies found NDYP increased the chance of happening a occupation by 20 per centum ( IFS, 2001 ) . Besides the debut of personal advisers ( NDPAs ) has had a positive consequence on participants, and grounds systematically has recognised the individualized aid given by the NDPA as the cardinal component of success.

Even though findings done by independent researches imply that NDYP has reduced long-run young person unemployment, some people say the decrease of unemployment has simply reflected the strength of the economic system, as since 1997 the economic system has produced an extra 2.9 million occupations ( JRF, 2004 ) . The impact of New Deal has non been every bit important as it was predicted and set out to be. Figures prove that young person unemployment is higher than when Labour was elected in 1997, and lifting. Since 2001, figures on young person unemployment have been increasing, and those who are on NDYP and unemployed under six months has grown. This is because small seems to go on in the first six months of unemployment, and JSA ‘s conditionality is progressively uneffective as New Dealers and staff merely delay for the programme to get down, which is six months into unemployment. Figures illustrate that by 2007 there was an addition of 82,000 immature grownups unemployed since 1998 ( Field & A ; White, 2007 ) . Similarly, the figure of idle immature people, unemployed between six to twelve months is increasing and it stands good above the degree at the start of the New Deal in 1998. What is more shocking is the degree of unemployment for those who have been out of work for over 12 months ; it has besides increased dramatically since 1998, and the same applies for those who have been unemployed for more than two old ages. Overall, the figure of immature people unemployed, whether it is short-run, or long-run, it is on the addition.

Claimants who have completed their New Deal, and still hold non found work, are required to re-enter the New Deal, and so they are known as “retreads” ( Field & A ; White, 2007 ) . The figure of recap has continued to turn with some claimants come ining New Deal non merely for the 2nd clip, but a 3rd, 4th or even 5th clip. New Deal has been unsuccessful in happening work, and people are left idle and dependent on benefits. This shows a structural failing of the Government ‘s New Deal programme, and informations suggests that New Deal seems incapable of accommodating to the demands people who find it hard to happen work, i.e. the really group which is most reliant on the New Deal for this intent. Given that the authorities believes that the New Deal programme is to be the most effectual manner to guarantee that there is no 5th option of staying on benefits, why is at that place a turning figure of people traveling on to New Deal for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th clip? The authorities is beliing itself here.

Long-run statistics suggest that work forces increased employment in the first six months after measure uping for NDYP. However, this disappeared over the undermentioned 12 months ( Wilkinson, 2003 ) . Women, make non make every bit good as work forces, and they tend to travel the whole manner up to the follow up period, connoting a lower degree of addition in employment. In 2007 there were 1,043,000 immature people non in instruction, employment or preparation ( Neets ) , which is a rise of 131,000 since 1997. However, despite the rise in young person unemployment, the proportion of immature people on the New Deal is falling.

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Lone parents have suffered a complex scope of barriers to work, runing from attitudes of employers, entree to childcare, to troubles with meeting lodging costs and the complexness of the public assistance system. Findingss were complemented and confirmed by a survey of non-working lone female parents, which found that the bulk of them had a general desire to work but were constrained from making so by slender fiscal additions or by deficiency of suited or low-cost child care ( JRF, 2004 ) . Paying for child care was a important barrier to work for solitary parents. With the new policies which are being introduced in October 2010 for lone parents, it is most likely to increase unemployment rates with this mark group and make farther barriers.

The increasing rate of unemployment is oppugning New Labour ‘s rational of New Deal and its effort to cut down dependence on benefits. Presently, unemployment is lifting and New Deal has been criticised and been labelled as a failure. New Deal relies to a great extent on aided occupation hunt and as we can see it is far from recession cogent evidence. This is why Labour has a new development which is called, Flexible New Deal. This new programme came in to coerce in fall 2009, and it replaces the New Deal 18-24 and 25+ and Employment Zones programmes ( DWP, 2008 ) . Flexible New Deal has set out to supply an chance for Prime Contractor administrations from the private, public and 3rd sectors to work together in partnership to present this new programme across all Jobcentre Plus territories. There are five core rules of the Flexible New Deal:

  • A stronger model of rights and duties to travel benefit clients from being inactive receivers to active jobseekers.
  • A individualized and antiphonal attack to single client demands which will supply trim employment and accomplishments support to run into the demands of both clients and local employers.
  • A partnership attack with public, private and 3rd sector administrations working together to maximize invention, taking to more and better results.
  • Devolving and authorising communities for future sustainable employment which will be at the bosom of vicinity reclamation.
  • Not merely occupations, but occupations that wage and offer chances for patterned advance, with an accent on prolonging and come oning in work to guarantee all clients who need help to develop their accomplishments have entree to the relevant pre-employment and in-work preparation.

The end of Flexible new Deal is to eliminate child poorness by 2020, but this is non traveling to be an easy undertaking. We are yet to see how successful this new programme will be in guaranting we move towards full employment and chance for all.

In decision, New Labour ‘s public assistance to work programme has helped to get the better of unemployment at a clip when the labor market was spread outing and on a roar. Employers are more likely to take on the unemployed, as they urgently need staff to make full the vacancies. New Deals have helped more than 1.8 million people get into work in the last 10 old ages. However, figures demonstrate how the rate of unemployment, peculiarly with the 18-25 twelvemonth olds, has risen and is go oning to make so. The really principle of New Labour ‘s public assistance to work is being contradicted, as the unemployed are non being given realistic employment chances, and people are still subscribing on for benefits, non for work. The New Deal programme is clearly non accommodating to suit the demands of participants or the labour market, as people are come ining New Deal non merely for the 2nd clip, but a 3rd, 4th or more occasions. New Deal should be implemented from twenty-four hours one of unemployment for immature people, as the largest group are those who unemployed for up to six months, which is before the New Deal programme boots in. More of the same will non work, and the authorities needs to alter the manner New Deal is programmed and suit it around the demands of persons and assist them back into the labour market. We will hold to wait and see how the development of the Flexible New Deal helps to cut down unemployment, but if the current state of affairs is anything to travel by, the authorities has a batch to turn out.



Daguerre, A. ( 2004 ) Importing Workfare: Policy Transportation of Social and Labour Market Policies from the USA to Britain under New Labour, Social Policy & A ; Administration. p41-50.

DWP ( 2008 ) Transforming Britain ‘s Labour market: Ten old ages of the New Deal, Department for Work and Pensions, London. p2-10

Field, F. and White, P. ( 2007 ) Welfare is n’t working The New Deal for Young People, Reform, UK. p7-23

Finn, D. ( 2003 ) . Employment Policy. In N. Ellison & A ; C. Pierson ( Eds. ) , Developments in British societal policy 2 ( pp. 111-128 ) . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p111-128

Peck, J. ( 2001 ) . Another New Deal: Workfare, United Kingdom manner. Chapter 7 In J. Peck ( Ed. ) , Workfare states ( pp. 261-340 ) . New York: Guilford Press. p261-315

Kay, J. ( 1998 ) Evolutionary Politics. Prospect July: 31-35

Wilkinson, D. ( 2003 ) New Deal For Young Peoples: Evaluation Of Unemployment Flows, Policy Studies Institute, London.

Internet Beginnings

JRF-Joseph Rowntree Foundation. ( 2004 ) Labour ‘s public assistance reform: Advancement to day of the month hypertext transfer protocol: //www.jrf.org.uk/publications/labour % E2 % 80 % 99s-welfare-reform-progress-date ( Date Accessed: 11/04/10 )

IFS- Institute for Fiscal Studies. ( 2001 ) Measuring the employment impact of a compulsory occupation hunt aid plan. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.ifs.org.uk/publications/1734 ( Date Accessed: 11/04/10 )