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Title: For neither love nor money : was the Flexible New Deal a more effective and efficient active labour market policy than those it replaced?
Author: Davies, William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 039X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2013
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Long-term unemployment creates a series of individual, social, and economic problems. Long-term unemployment has been treated with a wide variety of public policies: this thesis focuses on one approach - active labour market policies. Active labour market policies in the UK have emerged in stages, as the welfare state has incrementally evolved from a largely state-dominated and passive social security system to a market-led, work-first system where an escalating percentage of benefit recipients are expected to be actively seeking work. The theory and evidence underpinning these developments are explored in the first fives chapters. In the last decade, British governments have sought the assistance of private and voluntary sector organisations in the delivery of active labour market policies, using a system of payment-by-results to encourage these organizations to move individuals into, and sustain, employment. These are the core features underpinning the case study of this thesis, the Flexible New Deal. The Flexible New Deal is a programme for all long-term unemployed persons, which operated between the autumns of 2009 and 2011. In chapter six the objectives, structure and expected outcomes of FND are detailed, and these are used to contextualize the core research problem. With the use of data analysis and fieldwork the thesis seeks to answer whether the national contracted market in labour market attachment has created a more effective and efficient system for transferring the unemployed from benefits into work than the systems before it. Within the broad parameters of the primary question, two further questions are considered. The first, whether the contracting process can identify the best and worst providers in the welfare market, and the second, whether work-first models of welfare-to-work are effective in different economic environments. Using careful data analysis, the results chapter shows that the Flexible New Deal did not meet the government’s own objectives for the programme, and it did not outperform the programmes it was designed to replace. In some areas of the country, the distance from attaining the targets were much greater than others, and these differences are shown to be largely reflective of the labour market characteristics of the operating areas. The thesis concludes by returning to the theme of path dependence established in Chapter 4 as the explanatory factor behind the reform of welfare-to-work programmes. It explains that despite market-driven active labour market policies not meeting their own objectives, the policies are likely to continue to be deployed by future governments.
Supervisor: Dolowitz, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General)