Identifying Claimants’ Needs

Research into the Capability of Jobcentre Plus Advisers

Bellis A, Sigala M, Dewson S | Research Report 43 | Department for Business, Innovation and Skills | May 2011

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The identification of skills and skills needs is a feature of government employment services and is delivered through Work-Focused Interviews (WFIs) conducted by Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers (PAs).

In addition to helping people to prepare and look for work, PAs can refer claimants for training provision or careers advice if this is deemed necessary to make a return to the labour market.

The Departments for Work and Pensions (DWP), and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned the Institute for Employment Studies to undertake research to:

  • explore how ‘skills need’ is defined by Jobcentre Plus PAs
  • examine how claimants’ skills needs are identified by Jobcentre Plus PAs
  • build an understanding of how the identification of skills can be embedded within the Jobcentre Plus offer.

The Jobcentre Plus offer, due to be introduced from April 2011, aimed to allow more flexibility to Jobcentre Plus managers and advisers to judge which interventions would help individual claimants most cost effectively. This research sought to inform that offer.