B71: Linking the worklessness and skills agendas: new assessments and plans

14th December 2009.

The recession has exacerbated many of the challenges we face in policy and delivery terms in the United Kingdom in relation to worklessness and low skills. It is at the local level where the pinch of worklessness and unemployment is being felt most and where there is evidence of variation in the factors influencing the issue. This local variation makes the process of Local Economic Assessments (LEAs) increasingly important. The policy recommendations of the Houghton Review for local authorities to produce specific Worklessness Assessments and Work and Skills Plans are extremely useful additions to understanding the scale of the challenge at the local and sub-regional levels.

This CLES bulletin seeks to provide an overview of the policy agenda around Worklessness Assessments and Work and Skills Plans (recommended in the Houghton Review) before providing, in the absence of any official guidance to date, some of our thoughts as to what these Assessments and Plans should contain.