DWP Committee strongly endorses NIACE and Inclusion’s Welfare to Work proposals

21st October 2015

Commenting on the publication of the House of Common’s Work and Pension Committee’s report into Welfare to Work, David Hughes, Chief Executive at NIACE, said:

“I was delighted to see the report’s recommendations reflect so much of the evidence that we presented to the Committee. The timing of this report, in advance of the Comprehensive Spending Review, is particularly critical. We urge Government to take the Committee’s report seriously as it provides a clear blueprint to help further improve the impact of the Work Programme to help key disadvantaged groups secure long-term sustainable work, with reduced resource.”

The report reflects NIACE and Inclusion’s:

  1. Call for a separate employment programme for disabled people and those with health conditions to provide better tailored, intensive support. This is critical if Government is to deliver its objective to half the disability employment gap.
  2. Recommendations for a new innovation fund to test innovative approaches to supporting hard to reach groups, together with the establishment of a new ‘What Works Centre for Employment’ – providing a central portal to share and promote good practice.  To further improve service development NIACE would like Government to use feedback from service users to shape provision, a method successfully piloted in Australia.
  3. Call for  clear ‘service guarantees’ which specify a minimum level, quality and frequency of adviser contact and service, ensuring  a more responsive service where nobody becomes ‘parked’.
  4. Call for a ‘cohort based’ payment by results model, where additional outcome payments are made based on the additional impact of the programme for defined groups of participants. This will be particularly critical if the programme is to secure greater impact with declining resource.