Activation workers’ perceptions of their long-term unemployed clients’ attitudes towards employment

Dunn, Andrew (2013) Activation workers’ perceptions of their long-term unemployed clients’ attitudes towards employment. Journal of Social Policy, 42 (4). pp. 799-816. ISSN 0047-2794

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The Work Programme’s use of severe social security benefit sanctions reflects British
coalition ministers’ belief that many people on out-of-work benefits do not want a job. While
a substantial empirical literature has repeatedly demonstrated that in fact unemployed benefit
claimants possess the same work values as the employed and that the vast majority want paid
work, it has ignored some conservative authors’ pleas to consider the views and experiences
of people who work with the unemployed. Forty employees of agencies contracted to help
unemployed people into employment were interviewed in summer 2011. Respondents had
spent an estimated combined total of 147,000 hours in the presence of people who have claimed
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for over six months. Most said that between a quarter and half
of their present clients did not want employment. This finding does not contradict existing
research, given that most JSA claimants re-enter employment within six months. However, all
forty agreed that many others remained unemployed because they were choosy in the jobs they
were willing to undertake, and,most strikingly, respondents overwhelmingly endorsed the view
that a ‘dependency culture’ exists in households and neighbourhoods that have experienced
joblessness for several generations.

Additional Information:FirstView July 2013
Keywords:Jobseeker’s Allowance, Unemployment, Universal Credit, Work Attitudes, Work Programme
Subjects:L Social studies > L410 UK Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:9188
Deposited On:27 Apr 2013 20:25

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