Cast net wider for jobs, says think tank

The government should widen its efforts to tackle unemployment among disadvantaged groups, a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research has recommended.

Refugees, homeless people, ex-offenders and those recovering from substance addiction should be targeted if the government’s welfare-to-work strategy, which aims to achieve an 80 per cent employment rate among the entire working age population, is to be successful.

The report calls on ministers to look beyond disabled and older people, people from ethnic minorities, lone parents, those with low skills and people from deprived areas.

It also calls for the government to abolish the New Deal for 50 Plus programme, saying it has not delivered for older people.

The report advises that the money saved from this should be used to expand Pathways to Work, a scheme which the IPPR is in favour of.

The report also warns that the lack of capacity in Jobcentre Plus threatens to derail government plans.

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