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Tackling Worklessness: Developing a Strategy

In 2009 Local Government Improvement and Development worked closely with experts in the worklessness field in England, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and Communities and Local Government to develop a series of 'How to' guides. The guides are aimed to help practitioners who have a role in tackling worklessness and meeting local employment outcomes.

These guides contain practical advice, tips for action and support, and offer practical support for tackling worklessness 

Tackling worklessness involves delivering a wide range of services to address individual barriers to employment and to meet the needs of employers. It requires effective partnership working across a range of public, private and third sector agencies. However, the breadth of this partnership too often is typified by competing priorities and targets and in the fragmentation of services. Both duplications and gaps in provision arise as a result.

Strategies to tackle worklessness need to examine how provision can be better integrated to meet the needs of both people and employers. The focus for individuals needs to be on creating a seamless customer journey into sustainable employment. For employers there is a need to both improve the interface with welfare to work provision and ensure that their workforce requirements are reflected in the training and skills opportunities, and in-work support services, that are offered.

This guide is focussed on developing a strategy to address worklessness, links also need to be made with strategies to generate demand for jobs, including Regional Employment Strategies and Spatial Strategies, and this guide should therefore be read alongside the diagnostic tool recently developed by IDeA which focuses on the wider economic development agenda.


Top Tips

  • learn from the experience of others
  • get your own partnership right at the local level
  • undertake an assessment of worklessness
  • map out the customer journey and how this is funded and delivered by the partnership. Where are the gaps or duplications?
  • develop your strategic priorities and your action plan together. Where do you need to take joint action? Don't neglect the need to invest in the partnership and in improving shared systems as part of this.
  • link up demand and supply sides. Think about how the strategy fits with wider economic development strategies and what actions can be taken to boost demand for jobs, work experience and apprenticeships
  • monitor performance - consider setting up a regular bulletin to inform the partnership and wider stakeholders of the progress that you are making
  • evaluate and refresh your strategy. Regardless of performance against your targets, things change. Take the time to review your strategic priorities to ensure you remain focused on the overall aim: to help people more people into work.