Archives for December 10th, 2001

MAJOR CHALLENGE FACING JOB CENTRE PLUS

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 December, 2001

Job Center Plus the new integrated jobs and benefits offices being piloted at the moment are facing another major challenge in addition to the current wave of strikes. A key aim of the new Agency, known as ONE, is to move the focus away from benefit claims and towards finding jobs. Surveys carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions reveals that customers still perceive the integrated office as the place where benefits are claimed.The surveys found that 30% of job seekers and 73% of lone parents did not discuss way of finding jobs when the visited the centers. The evidence of the surveys suggests that ONE approach to jobs and benefits has not had any effect on the probability of jobseekers, sick or disabled clients leaving benefit.

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SOCIAL EXCLUSION POLICIES DELIVERING RESULTS BUT POVERTY PERSISTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 10 December, 2001

There are clear signs that progress is being made in tackling social exclusion in Britain, according to the annual monitoring report published by the New Policy Institute and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. For the first time since the report was launched in 1998, the number of indicators that have improved over the latest year substantially exceeds the number that got worse. But the number of households classified as poor remains virtually unchanged in the 1990s, having doubled in the 1980s.The report highlights more positive trends in education, where fewer children are leaving school without basic qualifications. The proportion of children finishing school without any GCSE ‘C’ grades or above fell by 20 per cent between 1991/2 and 1999/00. Even so, 150,000 pupils still leave school without a GCSE pass above grade ‘D’ and 25,000 getno grades at all. Around one in four 19-year-olds lack a basic qualification (NVQ2 or equivalent) compared with a third in 1995.

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