Working for the Future

Launch report for the Commission on the Future of Employment Support

Wilson T, Patel R, Edwards M, Mason B, Muir D |   | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2022

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This report launches a new Commission on the Future of Employment Support, which IES is providing the secretariat for and is being funded by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust.  More information on the Commission is available here including a Call for Evidence that will be open until 30th January 2023. 

The report argues that employment support can play a key role in enabling higher economic growth and social inclusion – by helping people out of work to find work, helping employers to fill their jobs and to make work better, and by working effectively in partnerships with other services and across industries.  However we face a range of challenges in doing so, particularly around:

  • Inequalities in the labour market, particularly between places and for different groups
  • Low levels of investment in training and skills, combined with risks of low pay and increases in poverty among those in work
  • Significant increases in worklessness since the pandemic, combined with record levels of vacancies and growing labour and skills shortages
  • An often centralised and siloed approach to employment support, with support increasingly targeted on those who are on benefit and required to look for work rather than open to those who may be on other benefits and want to work
  • As a consequence, very limited take-up of Jobcentre Plus support among employers and those out of work, and mixed views on its effectiveness

The report also sets out that there is an opportunity for reforming our approach in future, to learn from best practices across the UK and overseas and to meet the opportunities and challenges that the future will bring.

This is the first report from the Commission, and will be followed in the new year with further analysis of our current system and options for reform.