Tag: worklessness

Reducing Worklessness in Norfolk

We assisted Norfolk County Council and partners in developing the Worklessness Assessment and Framework for the county, in partnership with OCSI and Papworth Consulting.Elements of the work included:

  • analysis of changes in the Norfolk labour market, needs and barriers amongst disadvantaged groups
  • customer research, focusing on the needs and experiences of individuals from different groups and parts of the county
  • pulling together information on current worklessness provision in the county, building on a regional mapping project undertaken by the University of Glasgow
  • reviewing the implications of a changing policy environment
The Worklessness Assessment fed into the Norfolk Economic Assessment and the County’s Child Poverty Assessment and Strategy. The work subsequently provided a basis for influencing the delivery of the Work Programme in the county.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=258

Future Jobs Fund ‘How To’ guide

Educe produced the ‘How To’ guide on the Future Jobs Fund (331KB) for IDeA (now part of the Local Government Association) to help local authorities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises bid for and develop effective programmes. FJF was a recession response, linked to the recommendations of the Houghton ‘Tackling Worklessness’ Review, providing for the creation of 170,000 jobs (120,000 for young people and 50,000 for older adults in unemployment hotspots).The initial draft of the guide was circulated in late 2009 as organisations prepared bids and developed their plans, with a final version published in March 2010. This provided the background to FJF, advice on what makes a good bid and a good programme, and summarised success factors for delivery (eg, on engagement and publicity, programme design and management, and linking FJF and Apprenticeships). It also highlighted ‘top tips’ and practical things to watch out for.The Coalition Government subsequently closed FJF to new bids. However, contract holders delivered FJF into 2011. While much of the guide is FJF-specific, the content also includes lessons of wider relevant to the design and implementation of employment programmes.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=252

Working Neighbourhoods Fund Evaluation Scoping

The Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) was established by Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions in 2008. It replaced the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and the DWP Deprived Areas Fund in allocating to 65 local authorities to help them and their partners tackle concentrations of worklessness.We were members of a team led by the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, alongside Cambridge Econometrics and the University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research.

The brief was to provide a baseline and interim evaluation consists of three parts: (a) a top line analysis of labour market conditions in WNF areas; (b) an early assessment of how strategies and approaches to tackle worklessness were being developed in WNF areas; and (c) recommendations for future evaluation of WNF. The research involved a literature review, an online survey of all WNF areas, and depth interviews in 20. Download the Report   (2,286 KB).

A further output was an assessment of the feasibility of a national evaluation of Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Action on this was negated by the change of government in 2010.

Derrick Johnstone was subsequently asked by CLG as a Local Improvement Advisor to lead a review of progress being made on the implementation of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund in preparations for the 2010 Spending Review.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=245

Data sharing on worklessness

One of the key issues affecting the efforts of local partners to tackle worklessness relates to constraints on data sharing. Following the Tackling Worklessness (Houghton) Review, CLG and DWP agreed to initiate a pilot project to demonstrate ways in which relevant data can be shared within the current legislative framework. The pilot involved Kent, Leeds and Liverpool City Region, and aimed to clarify barriers, enabling factors and ways forward.Derrick Johnstone led input by three Local Improvement Advisors (LIAs) in support of the pilot areas, also contributing as a member of an Expert Group. The role of the LIAs was to:

  • broker relationships and facilitate discussions around local needs for worklessness data
  • facilitate data sharing and data management to achieve better outcomes
  • help identify solutions to obstacles, including ways of ensuring data security
  • working with local partners, CLG and DWP to test and provide exchange protocols, data sharing principles, Memoranda of Understanding, and other tools to underpin this process
  • identify lessons and good practice to be shared more widely as outcomes from the project.

The project has informed guidance on data sharing and worklessness published by DWP, and the IDeA ‘How To’ guide on Good Practice in Data Sharing ( 840KB) drafted by Educe. It has also led to DWP providing working age benefits data at very small area level (Output Areas), the smallest areas for which statistical data can be supplied.

CLG have published an evaluation of the pilots, Sharing data to improve local employment outcomes ( download on CLG site).New possibilities for data sharing have since been opened up by the Sections 130-133 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Draft regulations have been published to extend data sharing to help identify people affected by new benefit rules, especially on housing, and families with multiple disadvantages who may require support to help turn their lives around, as part of the Government’s Troubled Families programme.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=241

Tackling Worklessness Review

Derrick Johnstone acted as lead Neighbourhood Renewal Adviser for CLG and DWP in support of the Tackling Worklessness Review (2008/09) led by Councillor Stephen Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council. This investigated the role of local authorities and partnerships and its final report proved influential, with the then Government accepting many of the recommendations. These include the introduction of the Future Jobs Fund, intended to create short-term jobs aimed at young people and at localities hardest hit by the recession.Derrick’s input involved co-ordination of NRA contributions to the Review, including support for fact-finding visits and analysis of briefings and visit reports, eg, in identifying good and promising practice and use of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund. He also presented on the Review to a conference organised by the National Association for Neighbourhood Management on ‘Tackling Worklessness: A pivotal role for neighbourhood management?’.

Material from this research phase fed into case studies and ‘How to’ guides published by the IDeA. Educe prepared case studies on the Manchester Economic Development Services Framework (which marks a radical change in the City Council’s apporach to commissioning services), and Enable, Nottingham (a highly successful learning and skills consortium in the voluntary and community sector).

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=239

Local Improvement Advisor

Educe Director, Derrick Johnstone was recruited as a member of the national panel of Local Improvement Advisors, specialising in leadership and partnership development, performance improvement, local economy/worklessness and data sharing.Support from LIAs was available through Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships to support local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships in improving public services and gaining efficiencies.Assignments between 2009 and 2011 included:

  • data sharing to tackle worklessness: CLG/DWP pilot programme with Kent, Leeds and Liverpool
  • review of regional research and intelligence capacity in the East Midlands, and subsequent role in support of a follow-up regional project on customer insight and research (for the East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership)
  • locality working in West Cumbria (for Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria local authorities)
  • workshop facilitation to review progress by national partner organisations on recommendations made by the ‘Supporting Local Information and Research’ report (for CLG)
  • research into the use and impact of Working Neighbourhoods Fund (for CLG)
  • Customer Insight Skills Audit, for Humber Innovation Partnership
  • advising on the development of the Doncaster Work and Skills Plan

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=235