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The Future of UK Employment Support

Date - Monday, 13th June 2016 (2:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

A Sheffield Solutions event from the Faculty of Social Sciences

Date: Mon 13th June 2016
Time: 14:00 – 16:30
Venue: ICOSS Conference Room, 219 Portobello, S1 4DP
Followed by a drinks reception


Speakers include:

  • Mat Ainsworth, Lead for Employment Initiatives and ‘Expanded Working Well’ integrated employment support programme, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Laura Dewar, Policy Officer, Gingerbread
  • Matthew Oakley, Senior Researcher, Social Market Foundation, Social Security Advisory Committee and author of Employment Support for a high-wage economy (JRF, 2015) & the independent Oakley review of benefit sanctions (DWP, 2014)
  • Iain Walsh, Director of Labour Market Strategy and International Affairs, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dr Adam Whitworth, Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Sheffield

Much is changing in the UK employment support landscape. At the national level, Jobcentre Plus delivery is to be transformed by the shift towards Universal Credit; IT platforms bring new possibilities but also new risks; and uncertainty surrounds the new revamped Work and Health Programme. And at the city-region level, new opportunities are emerging around locally integrated services which aim to broaden and deepen collaboration at a national and local level, as seen in places like Greater Manchester, London and Glasgow.

Yet despite these shifts, core challenges remain in the UK system: resources are tight and likely to be stretched even further under Universal Credit; better targeting and understand of claimant’s needs remains necessary; effective central-local collaboration is key but only just emerging; and supporting claimants with more significant support needs remains in need of new approaches. At the same time, substantial sections of the UK labour market experience low-pay, in-work poverty with no clear path to a more sustainable future.

Looking ahead, what are the prospects that this emerging employment support landscape can meet the challenges and priorities over the next decade? What are the opportunities, risks and constraints that face us collectively as we seek to support all of our citizens to fulfil their aspirations to work and financial security? And have we got the policy mix right to achieve this?

Join us for this seminar to explore these questions and more. The event is free to attend but please register your attendance: