Co-production and social innovation in street-level employability services: lessons from services with lone parents in Scotland

Colin Lindsay, Sarah Pearson, Elaine Batty, Anne Marie Cullen, Will Eadson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The United Kingdom, as an exemplar liberal welfare state, has been characterized as in the vanguard of “work‐first” activation – deploying high levels of compulsion and standardized employability services that seek to move people from welfare to work as quickly as possible. However, despite the extension of welfare conditionality to excluded groups such as lone parents, government‐led, work‐first employability programmes have often proved ineffective at assisting the most vulnerable to escape poverty or even just to progress in the labour market. We argue that alternative approaches, defined by co‐production and social innovation, have the potential to be more successful. We draw on a study of local services targeting lone parents led by third sector–public sector partnerships in five localities in Scotland. Our research identifies a link between programme governance and management (defined by co‐governance and collaborative partnership‐working) and co‐produced street‐level services that deliver benefits in terms of social innovation and employability. We draw on 90 interviews with lone parents, and more than 100 interviews with delivery stakeholders and street‐level workers, to identify factors associated with positive social and employability outcomes. The article concludes by identifying potential lessons for the governance and delivery of future services targeting vulnerable groups.
LanguageEnglish
Pages33-50
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Social Security Review
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018

Fingerprint

coproduction
employability
parents
innovation
governance
welfare
compulsion
interview
welfare state
activation
public sector
labor market
Group
stakeholder
poverty
worker
management

Keywords

  • employability
  • unemployment
  • social innovation
  • innovation
  • co-production
  • activation

Cite this

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title = "Co-production and social innovation in street-level employability services: lessons from services with lone parents in Scotland",
abstract = "The United Kingdom, as an exemplar liberal welfare state, has been characterized as in the vanguard of “work‐first” activation – deploying high levels of compulsion and standardized employability services that seek to move people from welfare to work as quickly as possible. However, despite the extension of welfare conditionality to excluded groups such as lone parents, government‐led, work‐first employability programmes have often proved ineffective at assisting the most vulnerable to escape poverty or even just to progress in the labour market. We argue that alternative approaches, defined by co‐production and social innovation, have the potential to be more successful. We draw on a study of local services targeting lone parents led by third sector–public sector partnerships in five localities in Scotland. Our research identifies a link between programme governance and management (defined by co‐governance and collaborative partnership‐working) and co‐produced street‐level services that deliver benefits in terms of social innovation and employability. We draw on 90 interviews with lone parents, and more than 100 interviews with delivery stakeholders and street‐level workers, to identify factors associated with positive social and employability outcomes. The article concludes by identifying potential lessons for the governance and delivery of future services targeting vulnerable groups.",
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Co-production and social innovation in street-level employability services : lessons from services with lone parents in Scotland. / Lindsay, Colin; Pearson, Sarah; Batty, Elaine; Cullen, Anne Marie; Eadson, Will.

In: International Social Security Review, Vol. 71, No. 4, 30.10.2018, p. 33-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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