Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe
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Integrating Social and Employment Policies in Europe

Active Inclusion and Challenges for Local Welfare Governance

Edited by Martin Heidenreich and Deborah Rice

A central goal of European activation policies is to integrate social and employment policies into a coherent active inclusion approach that fosters social cohesion and enhances the employment chances of vulnerable groups. This requires a reorganisation of social and employment services especially at the local level. On the basis of empirical studies of six European welfare states, this book explores how different institutional contexts influence localised service delivery and how local actors deal with the associated coordination challenges.
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Chapter 5: Personalized activation policies for the long-term unemployed: the role of local governance in the UK

Vanesa Fuertes and Ronald McQuaid

Abstract

In Chapter 5 on the UK, Vanesa Fuertes and Ronald McQuaid study how coordinated activation policies, which have been a core part of the UK welfare state since at least the 1990s, are implemented locally. Although service coordination is officially acknowledged as a necessary requirement for supporting people with complex problems into employment, the authors perceive a number of barriers to service coordination in three local case studies (Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Newcastle) and at street level (in one Work Programme provider organization). Thus, marketization seems to have increased fragmentation among service providers, not only because some local public agencies are wary of letting Work Programme participants benefit from specialized public services but also because Work Programme sub-contractors (among them many NGOs) are receiving fewer referrals than expected. However, Fuertes and McQuaid conclude that local and devolved government discretion can result in an increased coordination of employment and social services in places, especially when it comes to services provided outside of the Work Programme.

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