ERSA has today welcomed the publication by the Work and Pensions Select Committee of its report into the role of Jobcentre Plus in a reformed welfare state.  The report, a synopsis of which can be obtained from, highlights a number of the points made by ERSA to the Committee, including:

The need for the introduction of a jobseeker classification tool which more finely assesses the barriers to work of individual jobseekers and which is shared with Work Programme, Work Choice and other specialist employment providers.

The need to bring the performance management regime for Jobcentre Plus in line with that for outsourced employment providers.  At present, Work Programme and other outsourced providers are incentivised to get jobseekers into long term work, while Jobcentre Plus is incentivised merely to get jobseekers off benefit. 

The need for a review of the effectiveness of the sanctioning regime, to ensure that the application of sanctioning rules are fair and help jobseekers in their progress to work. 

Welcoming the report, ERSA chief executive, Kirsty McHugh, said: ‘This is a very welcome piece of work, which makes some important recommendations for the future of Jobcentre Plus.  We very much look forward to the response by government, particularly in relation to ensuring that JCP’s performance is judged by the number of people who get into work and stay there and not just come off benefit’.