Jobcentre Plus acts both as the UK’s centre for benefits administration and employment support. While it is effective at processing large numbers of claimants quickly and cheaply, it is less good at identifying and dealing with customers with significant barriers to work and can often be a ‘revolving door’.
Though it is often noted that some 75% of customers claiming Jobseekers Allowance who come through its doors are off benefit again within six months, it is less well known that only around half of these are still in work eight months later; a third are claiming benefits again.
With this in mind, is it time for fundamental reform of Jobcentre Plus and what models for reform might help more people get into and stay in work?
This event will ask:
How is Jobcentre Plus currently performing and is it ‘fit for purpose’?
How successful might recent reforms be in improving Jobcentre performance? What other reforms might be needed if we stick with the current model?
In the longer-term might more radical measures improve performance? For instance, might it be time to consider mutualisation, privatisation or models that require Jobcentres to compete with private and third-sector alternatives?
CHAIR: JohnRentoul – Columnist, The Independent on Sunday
Kate Green MP – Shadow Minister for Equality
Graham Hoyle – Chief Executive, Association of Employment & Learning Providers
John-Paul Marks – Director for London and Home Counties, Jobcentre Plus
Matthew Oakley – Head of Economics & Social Policy, Policy Exchange