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Work it out: Creating local systems of employability support

Work it out: Creating local systems of employability support

Employment brings with it a wide range of benefits for citizens and the public purse, ranging from better health outcomes to reduced social care and benefit spending. Although long-term unemployment has fallen significantly at the national level, this does not mean the problem has gone away. Pockets of substantial unemployment remains in different places across the UK and the quality of the jobs and skills capacity in local areas require locally tailored solutions.

In response, councils have already started to develop their own innovative responses to the challenge of employability. However, as the Work and Health Programme comes into operation, there is a danger of missed opportunities, and councils could offer much more if given the tools and incentives to do so. In fact, with the right support, local authorities could start to form the new frontline for employability support in a way that is far more efficient and locally-sensitive than national programmes.

This collaborative report from APSE and NLGN scrutinises the current place of local authorities in tackling unemployment and, as a result, recommends that:

  • Devolution needs to go further and faster. We recommend that there is cohesive devolution to tackle youth unemployment, and accelerated devolution to tackle long-term unemployment, with an appropriate share of risk and reward between combined authorities and DWP.
  • Jobcentre Plus should be integrated with local authority services. There needs to be closer co-ordination between local authorities and JCP to join up benefits administration and employment advice services, minimising duplication between the two statutory bodies and ensuring smooth transitions for people.
  • A National Learning Network needs to be created. The dissemination of what works and what doesn’t is not as widespread as it could be. A national body, such as the LGA, should form a network to share best practice.
  • Services require a new data sharing legislation. Data sharing between councils and JCP is limited, as is that between housing providers, health services and other public sector organisations who will often deal with the same people. New data sharing legislation can enable closer partnerships in all aspects of public service.
  • Local authorities need to form partnerships with neighbouring local authorities, JCP and the wider public sector. Local authorities should take steps towards shaping their places, regardless of whether they are part of devolution deals or not.

A pdf version of the research can be downloaded for free. Print copies can be bought using the form below.

 

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Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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