This paper explores the relationship between skills and welfare-to-work policy. Skills and employment are intimately connected, and we intuitively expect to see a positive correlation between the two. Other things being equal, the more advanced the skills (notionally represented by qualifications) an individual has, the more employable he or she is.
Previous research overwhelmingly supports the assertion that the incidence of long-term unemployment and labour market inactivity is not evenly distributed. People of working age with certain characteristics - those with few or no educational qualifications, ethnic minorities, lone parents, those aged 50 or over, and those living in neighbourhoods with a low employment rate - are more likely to be out of work than others.
Section 1 of this paper looks at the scale, demography and idiosyncrasies of worklessness for these groups in the context of the North West England, while Section 2 looks at the evolution of welfare-to-work policy in the UK, and its likely future in the context of the North West.
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