Housing providers left out of work programme
Fewer than a third of housing providers are involved in the government’s flagship scheme to get people back into work, research has found.
A study carried out by housing association charity HACT and Inclusion, a not for profit company that promotes social inclusion in the labour market, has found only 28 per cent of the 136 housing providers it surveyed had clear links with work programme providers.
The organisations found welfare to work providers and the government should do more to support housing providers’ work programmes, but also placed some of the blame for the lack of cooperation with housing groups.
HACT chief executive Matt Leach said: ‘There are some great examples of partnership working with mainstream welfare to work provision, but too many housing providers appear indifferent towards the support offered through Jobcentre Plus, the work programme, mainstream skills provision, and other government initiatives.’
The study found 88 per cent of housing providers are investing in employment and skills initiatives, but only 45 per cent have up to date information about the status of their residents.
Laura Gardiner, labour market researcher at Inclusion, said: ‘It is clear that housing providers are wholeheartedly committed to tackling worklessness among their residents and within their communities.
‘However, the range of approaches taken to tackling worklessness paints a varied and sometimes confusing picture, and there is progress to be made to ensure that the housing sector’s contribution is as effective as possible.’
The publication of the report marks the start of a partnership between Inclusion and HACT designed to help housing providers support the 3.5 million working age social tenants who are not in employment. The second stage of the collaboration will be launched in the summer.