Connecting People with Jobs

Activation Policies in the United Kingdom

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This report examines recent activation policies in the United Kingdom aimed at moving people back into work. It offers insight into how countries can improve the effectiveness of their employment services and also control spending on benefits. The United Kingdom's policies have helped limit the rise in unemployment during the crisis. It has been at the forefront of reform efforts by OECD countries to transform and modernise policies designed to help the unemployed find work, through major new programmes such as Universal Credit and the Work Programme. Although time is needed for these to gain momentum as well as for a full evaluation of their impact to be carried out, the report identifies a number of areas where consideration should be given to additional measures or adjustments to existing ones.




Giving people better opportunities to participate actively in the labour market improves well-being. It also helps countries to cope with rapid population ageing by mobilising more fully each country’s potential labour resources. However, weak labour market attachment of some groups in society reflects a range of barriers to working or moving up the jobs ladder. Therefore, the OECD is carrying out a new review of activation policies to encourage greater labour market participation of all groups in society with a special focus on the most disadvantaged groups who face the greatest barriers and disincentives to finding work. This will include a series of country studies, Connecting People with Jobs, which will provide an analysis and assessment of how well activation policies in selected OECD countries are performing in fostering more inclusive labour markets that help all groups in society to move into productive and rewarding jobs. This report for the United Kingdom is the first country study to be published in this series.


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