Abstracts: July 29th, 2011

The Department for Work and Pensions has been working with local authorities, Jobcentre Plus and local partners in five places to develop Co-Design Pilots, testing new solutions in tackling worklessness. The pilots – Birmingham, Bradford, Lewisham, South Tyneside and Swindon – have adopted customer-centred approaches to achieving better outcomes at less cost. Four out of the five are Community Budget areas.

The pilots feature innovative approaches, variously relating to issues such as working with families, enhance employability through mutual support, personalised services, using key workers, social networks, personal budgets and tailored recruitment. More flexible delivery by Jobcentre Plus, including outreach, employer engagement and collaborative methods in service planning and design have also been explored.

The pilots are finding ways to quantify cost savings and social benefits, linked to the DWP light touch cost-benefit guidance.

The report summarises the pilots and the programme as a whole, and highlights key points, lessons and next steps. There also case studies on each of the pilots, a checklist for local authorities on working with JCP and Work Programme contractors, and an outline of what JCP now bring to the partnership table.

The report can be downloaded here.