Further Memorandum from the Institute
I am writing on behalf of the Institute of Welfare
to convey our contribution to the New Deal: An Evaluation Inquiry.
Enclosed are the results of a survey conducted in Somerset and
Bristol between 23 September 2000 and 16 October 2000 by this
Professional Body in association with the Employment Service.
The main finding of our research revealed the
importance of New Deal placements attached to occupational
welfare. Nearly 94 per cent of respondents considered that such
provision would assist them in their work and serve as a natural
extension to the support provided by Personal Advisers from the
Employment Service. This view has been advocated by the Institute
of Welfare in numerous official submissions since 1998.
We have consistently highlighted the need for
policy makers to consider the value of not only Welfare to
Work but also Welfare at Work. Significantly, the Employment
Policy Institute endorsed this consideration in relation to the
"New Deal 50 Plus Programme". On 31 July 2000, they
concluded, in a Report entitled "Boosting Employment for
Older Workers", that more radical steps may be needed
by employers, pension schemes and the Government in order to maintain
the employment of older workers. A failure to fully concentrate
on the varying individual needs of both young and older New
Deal participants is a matter that needs to be addressed.
In the absence of meaningful, sustained and credible support,
such vulnerable people remain exposed to the danger of losing
their hard won employment status and reverting back to the culture
of state benefit dependency.
On 28 April 2000, I wrote to the Chairman of
your Committee in connection with the role and accreditation of
Personal Advisers assigned to the New Deal. I have attached
a copy for ease of reference. A number of the points advanced
by the Institute of Welfare subsequently formed the basis of the
key findings in a major survey by the Industrial Society. Their
Policy Paper (A Good Deal Better: Reforming the New Deal),
published in September 2000, highlighted the following three points
which have been regularly raised by the Institute of Welfare since
the inception of the New Deal:
the undervaluing of the skills of
long term unemployed people's lack
of confidence can be marked and easily conceal their potential;
a substantial minority of New
Deal recruits have significant social and emotional problems.
The Institute of Welfare agrees with the central
recommendation of the Industrial Society's Report, namely that
the role of Employment Service Personal Advisers should become
a core Public Service profession. Higher calibre recruits can
only be attracted by conferring higher professional status. This
needs to be of an external (ie non Civil Service) nature with
academic currency in order to have relevance and credibility for
both Personal Advisers and public confidence. The Institute of
Welfare is well placed to fulfil this role, as our Professional
Accreditation programme is the only scheme currently available
in the country to meet the Government's requirements for an accredited
welfare work qualification in the care services. Moreover, the
scheme's programme of professional study is officially recognised
by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority at NVQ Levels 3
If the evaluation exercise of the New Deal
results in the acceptance of professional status for Personal
Advisers then the Institute of Welfare, which was founded as the
Institute of Welfare Officers in 1945, offers itself as the most
appropriate independent provider. The Employment Committee may
also wish to discuss similar provision with your Social Security
colleagues in respect of their Benefits Agency Personal Advisers.
Such arrangements could prove to be an ideal and unifying precursor
to the creation of the Working Age Agency in 2001.
Institute of Welfare
NEW DEAL: AN EVALUATIONRESULTS OF
SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE INSTITUTE OF WELFARE
1. How long have you been with your current
employer? 16 weeks (average).
2. Is this your first placement through
the New Deal? Yes (81.25 per cent)/No (18.75 per cent).
3. How many staff approximately does your
employer have? (a) Under 50 (81.25 per cent); (b) 50-100 (6.25
per cent) or (c) Over 100 (12.5 per cent).
4. Does your employer have a Welfare Officer
or someone who can provide you with any workplace support in relation
to personal problems (ie debt, relationships, health, drink etc)?
Yes (75 per cent) / No (18.75 per cent) / Do Not Know (6.25 per
5. Do you think that workplace welfare (ie
someone available to help you with job related and personal problems)
would assist you in your work and serve as a natural extension
to the support provided by Personal Advisers from the Employment
Service? Yes (93.75 per cent) / No (6.25 per cent).
Survey undertaken in Somerset and Bristol by
the Institute of Welfare in association with the Employment Service.
Fifty questionnaires were issued between 23 September 2000 and
16 October 2000. Sixteen were returned fully completed, representing
a response rate of 32 per cent.
Nearly 94 per cent of respondents welcome the
provision of workplace welfare.
The Institute of Welfare would like to thank
all New Deal placements for their participation with this
survey. In addition, the approval and co-operation of the Somerset
Employment Service is appreciated.