Welfare reform and labour markets
CRESR has a national reputation for undertaking research on labour markets in specific regional contexts among specific sub groups of the population and on labour market initiatives and welfare reform.
The centre is experienced at undertaking both large and small scale studies tailored to meet clients' needs. We use a range of methods to undertake process evaluations, impact analysis of labour market initiatives on outcomes, and the tracking of trajectories of local labour markets over time to assess the impact of welfare reform.
Key areas of expertise include:
- conducting in-depth qualitative research with stakeholders, service providers and participants of job-activation schemes
- designing, undertaking and analysing large scale surveys of workless individuals, households and benefit claimants
- statistical analysis, benchmarking and spatial analysis of labour market trends, secondary and administrative data, benefits data and labour market outcomes
- small area estimation of labour market accounting techniques and econometric analysis
- profiling of labour markets in specific geographic areas
Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019
Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.
Project Director: Professor Peter Dwyer (University of Salford) and Professor Del Roy Fletcher (Sheffield Hallam University)
Project Duration: 2013-2017
The use of conditional welfare arrangements that combine elements of sanction and support in order to influence the behaviour of welfare recipients has become an established component of welfare, housing, criminal justice and immigration policies. CRESR at Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Sheffield and York universities, has been awarded an ESRC large grant to conduct a major study on the efficacy and ethicality of conditional welfare policies. This five year project creates a collaborative, international and interdisciplinary focal point for social science research on welfare conditionality by establishing an original and comprehensive evidence base across a range of social policy fields and diverse groups of welfare service users.
Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2013-2017
Making it Work is part of the 21st Century Life investment area of Investing in Communities, though which Big Lottery Scotland invests in projects that bring improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. The programme will offer investment of up to £1.25 million each to a partnership in 4 local authority areas: Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and Fife. Up to £2m investment is available to a partnership in Glasgow. Making it Work aims to join up services to tackle the barriers faced by lone parents returning to work, and to create more sustainable local partnerships to support lone parents in the future. The programme is targeting lone parents experiencing the greatest barriers, including those with disabilities, or caring for someone with disabilities; with a large family (3 or more); living in an area with a depressed labour market; living in chaotic circumstances; with little work experience or who have been out of work for two or more years.
#SPLITCRESR and SCER are carrying out partnership and programme level evaluations involving the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to assess the impact of each of the 5 partnerships, and the programme as a whole, and the success of the programme’s approach in helping lone parents with complex needs move towards sustainable employment. The contract also involves delivery of learning activities, designed to support partnerships and the Big Lottery Fund in delivering the programme. These include regular workshops and seminars, alongside good practice guidance and a website to facilitate shared learning.
The project team also includes SCER, University of Strathclyde: Colin Lindsay, Hazel Baxter, Johanna Commander, Eli Dutton, Patricia Findlay.
For further information and updates for this project please see the project website https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/makingitwork/
Project Director: Professor Ian Cole
Project Duration: 2011-2013
To monitor the impact of the changes to Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowances in the private rented sector introduced by the government in 2010.
Project Director: Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2012-2013
This project will evaluate the impact of 15 projects to promote volunteering that have been funded through the Volunteering for Stronger Communities programme. The Programme aims to use volunteering to improve employability and strengthen in the context of economic uncertainty.