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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: New approaches to employability in the UK: Combining 'human capital development' and 'Work First' strategies?
Authors: Lindsay, Colin
McQuaid, Ronald
Dutton, Matthew
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Issue Date: Oct-2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Lindsay C, McQuaid R & Dutton M (2007) New approaches to employability in the UK: Combining 'human capital development' and 'Work First' strategies?, Journal of Social Policy, 36 (4), pp. 539-560.
Abstract: This article analyses recent developments in policies to promote the employability of unemployed and economically inactive people in the UK. It discusses the extent to which these policies reflect the dominant approaches of ‘Work First', where programmes focus mainly on compulsory job search and short-term interventions to facilitate a quick return to work, or human capital development (HCD), where programmes tailor services to promote longer-term skills and personal development. Specifically, the article reports on case-study research into two recent pilot initiatives: Working Neighbourhoods (which targeted a range of intensive services in neighbourhoods characterised by high levels of inactivity) and Pathways to Work (which combines employability services and cognitive behaviour therapy-type approaches to help clients to manage health problems). While both pilots have retained strong Work First features, they potentially represent a shift towards a more HCD-oriented approach, through the delivery of more holistic ‘coping and enabling' services. However, there remain concerns that, as with previous progressive policy initiatives, the positive lessons of these pilots will not be fully mainstreamed. We conclude that, if the UK is to balance Work First compulsion with high-quality services delivering progress in the labour market and HCD, a strengthening of ‘coping and enabling' interventions is required, alongside a renewed commitment to training.
Type: Journal Article
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Rights: The publisher has granted permission for use of this work in this Repository. Published in Journal of Social Policy / Volume 36 / Issue 04 / October 2007 , pp 539-560 Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007. The original publication is available at:
Affiliation: Edinburgh Napier University
Management Work and Organisation
Edinburgh Napier University

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