Abstracts: March 15th, 2006

This report from the Department for Work and Pensions presents the findings of a review of Action Teams for Jobs. Action Teams were introduced into disadvantaged areas with particular labour market problems with the aim of increasing the employment rate amongst disadvantaged groups. They started work in June 2000 in three pathfinder areas and currently operate in 64 areas. They are a voluntary programme providing an adviser led service, often based in local communities and working in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors.The report was commissioned to examine the current operation and efficacy of Action Teams and gather together the lessons learned. The review found that Action Teams have been effective in helping people from deprived areas find jobs. From June 2000 to September 2005 they helped over 150,000 people into work. Flexibility in funding has been important in enabling them to prioritise resources effectively, to co-finance projects with partners and address client needs in deprived areas. Flexibility also allowed the secondment of employees from specialist partners and the ability to offer a tailored and client centred approach.

The Action Teams that were examined are involved in Local Strategic Partnerships and have built good working relationships with community partners reporting a ‘win-win’ situation with joint funding for projects, premises and events and improved access to specialist help. They foster joined-up services, better communication between partners and the sharing of information and referrals with local job brokers, substance counsellors and training course providers.

The Review is available at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rrs2006.asp#actionteams