Tackling worklessness

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					                                 Tackling Worklessness:
                      Report on the Results of the Mapping Exercise
                                       March 2009


1, Introduction

At the LSP Board meeting on 11th July 2008, members selected ‘tackling worklessness’ as
one of its two cross-cutting priorities. This theme is key to the LSP achieving its objectives as
set out in ‘Shaping our future’ and will progress a number of the priorities in our Local Area
Agreement (LAA).

The LSP have chosen to focus on worklessness amongst those groups who are furthest away
from the labour market, specifically:

       The highest benefit claimant rate categories: lone parents and Incapacity Benefit
        claimants
       The Lower Super Output Areas in which over 25% of residents claim out of work
        benefits.

This report builds on the work of previous reports presented to the LSP board in June and
October 2008. The report presents the results of research conducted between October and
March. The purpose of this research was to:

       Identify the support needs and barriers experienced by workless people including lone
        parents and Incapacity Benefit claimants.
       Develop a journey to employment framework which describes the main categories of
        employment support and the stages when these types of support should be received.
       Map in detail the current provision by partner organisations, resident social landlords
        and other providers in the voluntary and community sector and assess the strengths
        and weaknesses of current provision.


2. Recommendations

LSP Board members are recommended to:
    Note the findings of the research.
    Endorse the Journey to Employment Framework and ensure they and the
      organisations that they commission or fund accept and make referrals in line with it.
    Ask the Stronger Communities Partnership to consider how best to encourage and
      support accredited Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) provision in the borough
    Ask the Sustainable Development Partnership to report progress on their work with
      RSLs in identifying and tackling worklessness amongst their tenants.
    Consider how the LSP might work with the Skills Agency’s to help determine the future
      allocation of funding to support Lewisham’s citizens.
3. Context

3.1 National context

3.1.1 Worklessness levels

In January 2009, the government officially announced that the UK economy had entered a
recession following two successive quarters of negative growth. The impact of the economic
downturn on worklessness is already evident. In December 2008, unemployment had risen to
1.97 million, the highest level since 1997.1

As unemployment rises across the country, the competition for jobs will inevitably increase.
The policy agenda will need to adapt to these changing circumstances to address the needs
of the newly unemployed. However, long-term unemployment will remain a significant issue
throughout the economic downturn. The challenge at the local and national level will be to
balance the needs of the newly unemployed with the needs of our long-term unemployed
populations, including many lone parents and incapacity benefit claimants.

3.1.2 Policy context

In December 2008, the Department for Work and Pensions published its white paper ‘Raising
expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future’. The paper builds on the
green paper on welfare reform published in July 2008 and sets out how the Government will
increase the pace of welfare reform to deal with the consequences of the economic downturn.
The paper develops a vision for a personalised welfare state, where more support is matched
by higher expectations for all. It has widespread implications for the delivery of unemployment
support, particularly for lone parents and incapacity benefit claimants.

Key elements of this paper include:

         Simplifying the benefits system
         Devolving power to private voluntary and public providers
         Personalised conditionality
         Enhancing support and control for disabled people
         More support and higher expectations

Changes to the benefits system resulting from this paper include:

         From October 2008, the Employment and Support Allowance replaced Incapacity
          Benefit and Income Support claimed on the grounds of incapacity for new customers.
          Between 2010 and 2013 it is intended that existing claimants will be brought into the
          new system.
         In November 2008, lone parents with the youngest child of 12 or over were moved
          onto Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). From October 2010, lone parents with the youngest
          child of seven or over are scheduled to be moved onto JSA.




1
    www.statistics.gov.uk
3.2 Local context

3.2.1 Worklessness levels

Reflecting national trends, unemployment in Lewisham has risen. In January 2009, Lewisham
had 7,099 JSA claimants which represents 4% of the working age population which higher
than London and national averages. Although the majority of claimants have been claiming for
under six months, 9.5% have been claiming JSA for more than 12 months and 15.5% for
between 6 and 12 months. In Lewisham, 6.9% of our working age population are claiming
Incapacity Benefits and 4% are claiming lone parent benefits.

3.2.2 Policy context

Tackling worklessness is addressed as a key concern in a number of our local policy
documents. ‘Shaping our Future’ sets out five objectives under its outcomes to deliver a
Lewisham that is Ambitious and Achieving and Dynamic and Prosperous that relate to
reducing worklessness within Lewisham.

      Inspire all our young people to achieve their full potential by removing barriers to
       learning
      Encourage and facilitate access to education, training and employment opportunities
       for all our citizens
      Improve the quality and vitality of Lewisham’s town centres and localities
      Increase the number, quality and range of local employment opportunities
      Improve access to sustainable modes of transport within the borough and our
       connections to London and beyond

In order to support the delivery of these targets, Lewisham have chosen seven LAA targets
pertaining directly to increasing sustained employment and skill levels and reducing poverty
across the borough and seven related targets including crime and health.

NI 102 – Achievement gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers
achieving the expected level at key stage 2 and 4
NI117 0 16-18 year olds who are not in education, training or employment (NEET)
NI146 – Adults with learning disabilities in employment
NI151 – Overall employment rate (working-age)
NI153 – Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing
neighbourhoods
NI161 – Learners achieving a Level 1 qualification in literacy
NI162 – Number of Entry Level qualifications in numeracy achieved
NI163 – Proportion aged 19-64 for males and 19-59 for females qualified to at least Level 2
NI164 – Proportion aged 19-64 for males and 19-59 for females qualified to at least Level 3
NI 172 – Percentage of small businesses in an area showing employment growth

The key LAA indicator that will measure progress on tackling worklessness is NI 153:
‘Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing neighbourhoods’
4. Barriers to Work

4.1 General Barriers

The barriers to employment are complex and individual and affect workless individuals and
communities to different degrees.

The following general barriers have been identified:

         Skill and qualification level – There are strong links between worklessness and skill
          levels. The employment rate declines steadily as qualification levels decline. The
          employment rate for those with low literacy is 55% compared to around 75% for those
          with good literacy.

         Confidence – Being absent from the labour market for a significant period of time can
          have a negative impact on an individual’s confidence in their abilities.

         Experience – For those who have been unemployed for a significant period of time, a
          lack of relevant experience can reduce an individual’s ability to compete in the labour
          market.

         Transition from benefits – National research suggests that the uncertainty associated
          with moving from benefits can act as a barrier for some workless people, especially
          where there is individual confusion about alternative entitlements and support
          packages.

         Travel horizons – Local professionals highlight the impact of limited travel horizons on
          individuals’ employment opportunities.

4.2 Specific Barriers

For lone parents and Incapacity Benefit claimants the following specific barriers have been
identified:

         Childcare – For lone parents, one of the biggest barriers to work is the impact of
          returning to work on childcare arrangements and the associated cost with this.

         Flexible working – Finding work that fits around childcare arrangements has been
          identified as a significant barrier to work for some lone parents.

         Health problems – Disability or health will restrict the range of employment options
          open to some incapacity benefit claimants.

         Accessibility of transport – For those with restricted mobility and those who have
          sensory disabilities, accessing transport can provide an additional barrier to work,
          limiting the range of opportunities available.

The impact of living in an area of concentrated worklessness should also be considered. John
Hills’2 recent report into social housing made clear the correlation between social housing and
worklessness. The workless rate in social housing is nearly twice that in the private rented
sector. Social tenants are also more likely to have overlapping disadvantages in the labour

2
    LSE ‘Ends and Means: the future role of social housing in England’ 2007
market – 37% have two or more disadvantages, compared with 13% of owner occupiers.
Areas of concentrated worklessness are also disadvantaged by a lack of social networks that
connect to work and a low connectivity to the labour market. The impact of this is a reduction
in expectations and aspirations.


5. The journey to employment Framework

In order to provide effective support to help people return to work, it is crucial that the
agencies working with individuals understand the barriers to work and the support stages
involved in overcoming these barriers. Understanding this journey is also crucial to enable us
to assess the strength of our current provision.

The journey framework was developed in consultation with local support providers and is
based on local and national evidence on what works when addressing worklessness.
                                                    The Journey to Employment Framework



                                    IAG &              Pre-employment              Work focused
     Engagement
      Engagement                Signposting            Skills & support           training & work             Job brokerage             In work support
                                                                                     experience




Engagement activities       IAG and signposting      Pre-employment skills    Work focused training        Job brokerage activities   In work support activities
include:                    activities include:      and support activities   and work experience          include:                   include:
                                                     include:                 activities include:

- outreach                  - benefits advice        - basic skills           - accredited courses (i.e.   - engaging employers       - mentoring
- first point of contact    - Jobsearch              - ESOL                   NVQs)                        - matching candidates to   - grants and loans
                            - CV writing             - confidence building    - training involving         jobs                       - ongoing training
                            - presentation skills    - volunteering           potential employers in
                            - referring to other                              design or delivery
                            support providers                                 - work experience
                                                                              placements

Examples of projects        Examples of projects     Examples of projects     Examples of projects         Examples of projects       Examples of projects
providing engagement        providing IAG and        providing pre-           providing work focused       providing job brokerage    providing in work
activities include:         signposting include:     employment skills and    training and work            include:                   support include:
                                                     support include:         experience include:

- Children’s Centres        - Opening Doors          - Sydenham Garden        - Lewisham College           - Phoenix Community        - Train to Gain
- Family Mosaic             - CAB                    Project                  - Twin Training              Housing                    - Lewisham College
- Family Action- building   - New Horizons           - CEL                    - Gingerbread (Marks                                    GURU project
bridges                     - Social Prescribing     - Lewisham Homes         and Start)                                              - Childcare Affordability
                            Directory                - Thames Reach                                                                   Programme
                                                     Employment Project


                                                                   Connexions advisers

                                                                  Jobcentre Plus advisers

                                                                                                             Apprenticeships
5.1 Explaining the journey framework

The purpose of the journey framework is to set out the broad stages and direction of travel for
a person returning to work. It represents a model journey for someone returning to work.

There are six stages in the journey framework:

       Engagement
       Information advice and guidance (IAG) and signposting
       Pre-employment skills and support
       Work focused training and work experience
       Job brokerage
       In work support

Not everyone who is unemployed will need to go through all of these stages. For example:

       Someone who has recently become unemployed and is ‘job ready’ may only need job
        brokerage.
       A lone parent who has been to university, but has been out of work for a long time,
        might need support at the engagement, signposting, pre-employment skills, job
        brokerage and in work support stages but might not need to work focused training and
        work experience support.

Although not all individuals will need to receive support at each stage, the order of the stages
is important. Once an individual has been involved in an intervention at one stage of the
journey they should be referred to an intervention which is on the next stage of the journey.

5.2 Stages in the journey framework and providers of support

Engagement is the first stage in the employment journey. This stage is most relevant for
those who are furthest from the labour market. Agencies providing engagement activities are
at the front line. They might be directly employment focused (i.e. Family Mosaic pathways to
work project) or they might have a wider focus (i.e. Children’s Centres). The fundamental
characteristic of projects at this stage is that they are proactive in seeking out individuals and
motivating them to access support.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and signposting is provided by a broad range of
organisations, it is also a broad category. Signposting could simply involve referring people to
other support agencies (i.e. Citizens Advice Bureau) or distributing information on how to
access support. IAG could involve help with writing CVs, searching for jobs and preparing for
interviews (i.e. Opening Doors).

Pre-employment skills and support focuses on the basic and soft skills which an individual
needs to enter the labour market. This could involve the provision of basic skills such as
ESOL, computer literacy (i.e. Hatfield training centre), soft skills such as confidence building
courses (i.e. Arts Lift Project) or basic volunteering (i.e. Sydenham Garden).

Work focused training and work experience concentrates on providing courses which
develop skills that meet labour market need and expectation such as NVQs and other
accredited training courses (i.e. Lewisham College and Twin Training). Interventions could
also provides individuals with structured work experience (i.e. Apprenticeships).

Job brokerage involves engaging with employers to identify vacancies and matching
candidates to these vacancies (i.e. Jobcentre Plus)
In work support covers a range of activities. It could include financial support for childcare or
transport (i.e. Childcare Affordability Programme), ongoing mentoring and support in the
workplace (i.e. Lewisham College GURU project) or continued training and skills development
(i.e. Train to Gain)


6. Mapping initiatives that contribute to tackling worklessness in Lewisham

Research was conducted to identify and collect information about all current initiatives that
contribute to tacking worklessness by providing support to Lewisham residents.

The scope of the research included identifying initiatives that primarily aim to tackle
worklessness as well as those that can contribute to getting people back into work even if they
are specifically set up to do so. The scope of the research included collecting information
about the initiative’s target group or eligibility criteria, who funds or commissions the initiative,
where it’s delivered and how it fits into the journey to employment framework. The research
also identified how clients were referred to and from these organisations.

The research methods used included desk based research, structured telephone interviews
and face to face meetings. Key partner agencies, funders, commissioners and providers were
involved in the research. This research can only present a snapshot of current initiatives and
should not be recognised as an exhaustive list. The scope of the research did not include
collecting information about the capacity of initiatives so the analysis of the results is based on
number of initiatives identified rather than the capacity of these initiatives.


6.1 Key findings

The results of the research are presented in a spreadsheet (see appendix A). The delivery
locations of initiatives that are not mobile and are delivered in Lewisham are presented in a
series of maps (see appendix B). Some of the initiatives identified deliver from venues based
in each of wards that have lower super output areas where over 25% of residents claim out of
work benefits.

Key findings from the research include:

      86 initiatives were identified that tackle worklessness and support Lewisham residents.
       Of these, three quarters have getting people back into work as their primary aim. The
       remaining 25% don’t primarily aim to tackle worklessness but offer services and
       interventions that can contribute to the journey to employment.
          Percentage of organisations
                                          60




             providing this service
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45% of the initiatives identified are included in more than one stage of the journey to
employment framework.

      Most of the initiatives identified are not targeted at a particular client groups and do not
       have specific eligibility criteria. Where initiatives are targeted at particular client groups
       or have specific eligibility criteria they tend to concern where clients live, whether they
       have mental or physical health problems or disabilities, whether they are parents or
       carers and whether they are tenants of particular RSLs.

      Most of the initiatives identified that are included in the engagement or pre-
       employment skills and support are provided by small Third Sector organisations and
       many of these initiatives do not primarily aim to tackle worklessness.

      56% of the initiatives identified report receiving some funding from or being
       commissioned by an LSP partner. The main organisations that initiatives report
       receiving funding from or being commissioned by are Lewisham Council, the Primary
       Care Trust, Job Centre Plus, the New Cross Gate New Deals for Communities, the
       London Development Agency and the Learning and Skills Council. A number of
       initiatives are funded by the Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Funding arrangements in
       the future may change as the Learning and Skills Council is replaced by the Skills
       Agency.

      17% of the initiatives identified are geographically mobile. These initiatives are only
       included in the engagement or the IAG and signposting stages of the journey to work
       framework. Initiatives that are included in the engagement, IAG or pre-employment
       skills and support stages of the journey to work framework appear to be geographically
       mobile or dispersed throughout the borough. Initiatives that are included in the work
       focused training and work experience, job brokerage and the in work support stages of
       the journey to work framework are not geographically mobile and do not appear to be
       as geographically dispersed throughout the borough. Particular work focused training
       courses, such forklift truck training, are often only delivered outside of the borough.
       Initiatives targeted at clients with specific health conditions or disabilities are often only
       delivered outside of the borough.
      An RSL is present in each of the twelve lower super output areas in the borough in
       which over 25% of residents claim out of work benefits. Many of the RSLs that
       operate in the borough are coordinating initiatives that contribute to tackling
       worklessness by providing support to Lewisham residents. Hexagon, Hyde and Family
       Mosaic Housing Associations provide IAG and in house pre-employment skills training
       to their tenants. Phoenix Housing Association ensures that its contractors provide
       some apprenticeships for their tenants. London and Quadrant Housing Association
       and Lewisham Homes are not coordinating any initiatives with elements that contribute
       to tackling worklessness.

      The research identified a number of initiatives that provide valuable services but are
       not working with other providers to effectively progress individuals through to
       employment. Most of these initiatives are included in the early stages of the journey to
       employment and tend to refer people on to organisations at the same stage or
       previous stages of the journey, rather than the next step. Most of the initiatives
       interviewed as part of the research were only aware of a small number of the other
       current initiatives available to Lewisham residents that they could work with or refer
       individuals to. The key organisations that were most often referenced and to which
       individuals were signposted were JobCentre Plus and Opening Doors.

7. Discussion

Balance of initiatives: There is a comparatively high proportion of initiatives included in the
first three stages of the journey compared with the last three stages of the journey. There is
no evidence to suggest that initiatives included in the last three stages of the journey to
employment framework are oversubscribed so it is possible the initiatives included in the last
three stages of the journey to work framework have a larger combined capacity than initiatives
included in the first three stages of the journey to work framework. There is currently a
regional move to direct funding into initiatives including in the last three stages of the journey
so there are likely to be more opportunities for clients to participate in initiatives included in the
last three stages of the journey to employment framework.

Location of delivery: A general barrier to employment affecting some workless individuals is
an unwillingness to travel to work. The research shows that workless individuals in Lewisham
do not have to travel or only have to travel a very small distance to participate in initiatives
included in the early stages of the journey to employment framework. These initiatives can
also support individuals who are unwilling to travel to become willing to travel. As workless
individuals progress through the journey to employment framework they are more likely to
have to travel further distances to access provision. Given that employment opportunities
may not always exist at the very local level, acclimatising individuals to travelling in this way
could be seen as beneficial and is another benefit of taking individuals through the journey to
employment framework.

A barrier to employment affecting some incapacity benefit claimants is a difficulty in accessing
transport. This may present a barrier to accessing initiatives targeted at clients with specific
health conditions or disabilities that are only delivered outside of the borough. Initiatives that
are targeted at clients with specific health conditions or disabilities (such as being HIV positive
or being Deaf or Hard of Hearing) are often only delivered outside of the borough. Due to the
speciality of these initiatives it may not be practical to deliver them from within the borough.

Referral Routes: Organisations do not automatically see their role within the journey to
employment. The possible consequence is that individuals are referred to organisations and
initiatives which offer very similar outcomes with respect to the journey to employment
framework or that specific initatives end up with a ‘revolving door’. In this case, an initiative
may refer or signpost an individual to another initiative only for that individual to be referred
back to them at a later date. Progression along the journey to employment will not always be
linear but there is a risk of ‘provider capture’ with individuals not able to fully progress closer to
employment.

Initiatives that provide pre-employment skills and support that do not primarily aim to tackle
worklessness do not tend to provide IAG. These initatives often have workless clients referred
to them for reasons other than receiving employment support. These initiatives tend to build
strong relationships with their clients. Clients who have been referred to these initatives
primarily for reasons other than tackling their worklessness are likely to need need IAG to
progress in their journey to employment. To ensure that these clients progress in their journey
to employment they have to be referred back to a previous stage in the journey to work
framework to initatives that provide IAG. These clients will then have to build a new
relationship with the IAG provider. There is the potential to solve these difficulties and
streamline this referral route by encouraging initiatives that provide pre-employment skills and
support that do not primarily aim to tackle worklessness to become trained to provide IAG to
their clients.

The research’s scope did not encompass those actions and interventions provided by key
organisations or professionals that do not have specific protocols or provide specific initiatives
to tackle worklessness but that are likely to have workless clients, for example GPs or social
workers. However, there is significant potential in helping front-line staff across organisations
to recognise how they could work with and refer to worklessness provision in the borough.

Target Groups / Eligibility Criteria: Many of the initiatives identified have clients who are
lone parents but very few are targeted at or only eligible to lone parents. The initiatives
identified that have clients who are lone parents are more likely to be targeted at or only
eligible to parents or carers. Many of the initiatives identified have clients who are incapacity
benefit claimants but very few are targeted at or only eligible to incapacity benefit claimants.
The initiatives identified that have clients who are incapacity benefit claimants are more likely
to be targeted at or only eligible to people with particular mental or physical health problems or
disabilities.

The Role of RSLs: Lewisham’s RSLs are in a good position to identify their workless tenants.
Most of the RSLs that operate in the borough say that they coordinate more initiatives that
contribute to tackling worklessness in other London boroughs because other London
boroughs have commissioned or funded them to do so.

Quality of initiatives: The research identified a number of initiatives that described
themselves as referring clients on to other initiatives but that were only signposting their
clients on to other initiatives, were not making contact with the other initiatives on behalf of
their clients or introducing their clients to representatives from these other initiatives. National
research suggests that clients are more likely to successfully transition between initiatives if
they are supported through the referral process in the ways described above.

Providing IAG, as defined by the LSC3, includes providing data on learning and work
opportunities, an immediate response to the needs of clients who present or reveal a needs
that requires more than a straightforward information response and guidance an in depth
interview or other activity conducted by a trained adviser which helps clients to explore a
range of options, to relate information to their own personal needs and circumstances and to
make decisions about their career. The ability to deliver IAG is often evidenced by
accreditation. It is clear that a number of organisations in Lewisham that identify themselves
as IAG may be providing valuable services but are not providing the full range of support
included in the LSC’s definition of IAG.

3
LSC ‘Information Advice & Guidance for Adults; See the bigger picture…’ 2005
8. Next steps

The research and its findings point to some clear areas for further action:

      Protocols for engaging workless individuals and referring them on to initiatives
       providing IAG and signposting should be developed and adopted by all partners who
       have workless clients.

      Protocols for referring workless clients between initiatives should be developed and
       adopted by initiatives provided, commissioned or funded by all partners.

      Encourage and support initiatives that describe themselves as providing IAG to
       achieve IAG accreditation.

      Initiatives that provide pre-employment skills and support, but are not primarily aimed
       to tackle worklessness, should be encouraged to build their capacity so that they can
       also provide their clients with support from the signposting and IAG stage of the
       journey to employment framework.

      The journey to employment framework should be further developed. Specialised
       journey to employment frameworks should be developed for each of main areas of
       employment. Specialised journey to employment frameworks should be developed for
       fulfilling specific market needs and for overcoming some of the main barriers to
       employment.

      A ‘Working and Learning in Lewisham directory’ should be produced, aimed both at
       Lewisham residents and at employment support providers adnd allowing both parties
       to recognise their role in the journey to employment and how they can work with other
       organisations, across the borough, to make progress. The directory would contain
       details of all of the employment support initiatives and adult learning opportunities
       available in the borough and would categorise them according to journey to work
       framework. An online version of the directory could enable providers and service users
       to securely input information about the journey to employment being taken.

      An evaluation of the quality of existing initiatives that contribute to tackling
       worklessness. The evaluation should focus on the contribution individual initiatives
       make by enabling workless residents to progress through stages in the journey to
       employment framework

				
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