Welfare reform hitting the poorest hardest
CRESR

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
Search our work


Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract

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.


Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change: Understanding the Role and Impact of Welfare Conditionality

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.


Making it Work Evaluation

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.


The Local Impact of Welfare Reform in Scotland

Project Director: Professor Christina Beatty / Professor Steve Fothergill
Project Duration: 2014

This project documents the impact of welfare reforms down to the local/neighbourhood level across all districts in Scotland.  This is especially important because a small number of districts, notably Glasgow and Edinburgh, cover a high proportion of Scotland’s population and because the district-level statistics are likely to obscure big differences in the impact between local areas.  Certain neighbourhoods are being hit extremely hard and this project provides evidence as to just quite how hard some areas are hit.  The new study builds directly on the foundations of a previous study by the team on Scotland for Scottish Parliament which provided district level figures for the impact of welfare reform.


The Local Impact of Welfare Reform in Northern Ireland

Project Director: Professor Christina Beatty / Professor Steve Fothergill
Project Duration: 2014

This project documents the impact of welfare reforms down to the local/neighbourhood level across all districts in Northern Ireland.  The study gets beyond district-level statistics which are likely to obscure big differences in the impact between local areas.  Certain neighbourhoods are being hit extremely hard and this project provides evidence as to just quite how hard some areas are hit.  The new study builds directly on the foundations of a previous study by the team on Northern Ireland for NICVA which provided district level figures for the impact of welfare reform.


Get in touch

For further information please contact Professor Del Roy Fletcher at d.r.fletcher@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 3487,
or Professor Christina Beatty at c.beatty@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 3539.

Key clients

BACTA
British Destinations
Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation
Department for Work and Pensions
Financial Inclusion Services (Yorkshire)
Jobcentre Plus
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Ministry of Justice
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Nottingham City and County Employment and Skills Board
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Small Business Service
SOVA
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