B65: The Houghton Report: Recommendations for the role of local authorities in tackling worklessness

25th March 2009.

Houghton’s report, ‘Tackling Worklessness: A review of the contribution and role of English local authorities and partnerships’, published in March 2009 sets out recommendations as to how local authorities and their partners could help to tackle worklessness. This Bulletin sets out the headline recommendations outlined in the report.

In May 2008, Councillor Stephen Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, was commissioned to develop a report examining how local authorities in England, and their partners, can do more to tackle worklessness.

The eagerly anticipated report makes the case for a ‘concerted and sustained’ partnership across national, regional and local levels, and emphasises the important role that local authorities and LSPs play in tackling worklessness; recommending that it becomes a mainstream objective. Published at a time of heightened anxiety over the state of the global and UK economies, with unemployment rates rising, is particularly pertinent. In light of the economic climate, Houghton makes the case for maintaining efforts to tackle worklessness, and whilst responding to recent job losses and rising unemployment is important, this must not be at the expense of those furthest from the labour market.