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Poverty and insecurityLife in low-pay, no-pay Britain$
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Tracy Shildrick, Robert MacDonald, and Colin Webster

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429117

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.001.0001

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date: 21 August 2017

The low-pay, no-pay cycle: the perspectives and practices of employers and ‘welfare to work’ agencies

The low-pay, no-pay cycle: the perspectives and practices of employers and ‘welfare to work’ agencies

Chapter:
(p.60) (p.61) 4 The low-pay, no-pay cycle: the perspectives and practices of employers and ‘welfare to work’ agencies
Source:
Poverty and insecurity
Author(s):

Tracy Shildrick

Robert MacDonald

Colin Webster

Kayleigh Garthwaite

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847429117.003.0004

This chapter reports on the interviewees undertaken with employers and practitioners who worked for ‘welfare to work’ agencies in Middlesbrough. The findings have a particular focus on what employers and agencies reported to be the key barriers to the unemployed getting jobs. Most commonly explanations rested on the personal attributes and attitudes of the unemployed rather than the availability of suitable work. This focus on supposed ‘supply-side’ deficits in the unemployed available workforce reflects the dominant approach to tackling worklessness in national policies. A very significant finding highlighted in this chapter is that formal qualifications and skills were notably missing from the list of personal attributes required and considered of little importance in practice by employers and agencies, working at the lower end of the labour market. The chapter illustrates how workers themselves have little power in this labour market – sent by agencies, hired or not by employers, only to return to welfare to work agencies as jobs finish or do not start. The chapter concludes by comparing, briefly, the ‘barriers to jobs’ as perceived by welfare to work agencies and as experienced by those caught up in the low-pay, no-pay cycle.

Keywords:   Employers, Welfare to work agencies, Discrimination, Barriers, Supply-side

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