‘Low cost’ provision to help unemployed people into work
The Social Security Advisory Committee is running a consultation on a set of regulations that will amend the Work Capability Assessment, which is used to assess eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The consultation is set out in an extensive DWP Explanatory Memorandum, which has now been published on the SSAC website. This document includes a short discussion on the future shape of welfare to work services, which includes the following text (bold is my own):
we intend to build on the strengths of the personalised support delivered through JSA so that personal advisers can assess an individual’s need in order to provide enhanced support and low cost, flexible provision, to help improve employability.
Given the cuts in the Future Jobs Fund, the Jobseeker’s Guarantee and the Working Neighbourhoods Fund this new emphasis on cheap programmes is unsurprising – but it does raise real questions about how effective new forms of welfare to work support are going to be.