Headlines: May 26th, 1999

The Single Work Focused Gateway, official speak for a one stop benefits and job shop, is being renamed ONE. It will have the strapline Helping You Help Yourself.

ONE is the response to the Government’s commitment set out in the Modernising government White Paper to provide a more responsive service to the so called life episodes of birth, marriage, job loss etc. The name has been changed to get across the radical change of breaking down red tape and giving a better and swifter access to benefits, opportunities for work and training through a one-stop shop.

Entry to the benefits system will be streamlined and people losing their job will only need to visit ONE rather than the Employment Service, Benefits Agency, local authorities and possibly the Child Support Agency. The new shops will provide one point of contact to help people help themselves, one personal advisor to give continuity of support; and one team of organisations working together to deliver the service. The aim is to shift the culture away from: ‘what money can we pay you’ to ‘how can we help you to become independent, helping you to help yourself’.

From June 1999, ONE will be piloted in Essex South East, Warwickshire, Clyde Coast and Renfrew, Lea Roding. In November two call centres will be opened for trials. In the following year more pilots will be launched and the private and voluntary sectors will be invited to run ONE pilots.