New research published by Gingerbread has found that employment support is failing far too many single parents.
Despite years of government experimentation with welfare reform programmes, the employment rate for single parents still falls far short of that achieved by single parents across other European countries and of mothers in couples in the UK.
The research also shows that single parents are already falling significantly behind other claimant groups in achieving job outcomes under the Work Programme. In the first year of the Work Programme the single parent job outcome rate was only 2.5 per cent, a third lower than the overall rate.
The research highlights the urgent need for a step-change in the delivery of employment support to help single parents into work. It suggests that significant reform is required to both the Jobcentre Plus Offer and the Work Programme – and, crucially, that there must be a clear differentiation of their roles if the system is to stop failing single parents who are highly motivated to work but face significant barriers in a tough job market.
Other policy recommendations focus on key areas including putting the focus back on single parents, providing a genuinely tailored service offer that can meet the needs of all single parents and jobs that last. For more information please visit www.gingerbread.org.uk