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Today’s report, The future of public services: digital jobcentres, sets out the opportunity to transform public employment services in the UK. This paper is the fourth in a series, conducted in partnership with Accenture, which looks at the role technology will play in the future delivery of public services.
Jobcentre Plus – the UK’s public employment service – won plaudits for its performance over the financial crisis, but the story may be different if Brexit triggers an economic slowdown. The introduction of in-work services under Universal Credit will increase demand, while the Work and Health Programme will require jobcentres to take a more central role in the delivery of disability employment support services.
To meet these challenges, jobcentres must make better use of data, starting with the real-time tax information which was introduced in 2013. By merging data on the employment outcomes of former claimants with the tactics used by job coaches to get individuals back into the labour market, policymakers could develop a much richer picture of what works in employment policy – a question we know surprisingly little about.
This presents jobcentres with two opportunities. First, work coaches could use these insights to allocate training budgets more effectively and personalise back-to-work programmes so that the experiences of comparable claimants are reflected. Second, if jobcentres shared this information, they could play a more proactive role in reducing unemployment. Investment decisions, for example, would improve if jobcentres’ rich understanding of local labour market conditions was made available to businesses and educational establishments.
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We need big debates around reform for competitiveness in the 21st century and I think the Reform think tank is the place that is leading that debateGeorge Freeman MP, Chair, The Prime Minister’s Policy Board
Reform has consistently challenged the government to be more radical + more urgent in its pursuit of accountability, value for money + transparencyRt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister
I think Reform has made some very, very important arguments, which have really helped us as Ministers who are trying to enact those very reforms.Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health