This paper examines locally developed policy responses to long-term unemployment in the city of Edinburgh: a labour market characterised by relatively low-unemployment and generally high levels of demand. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with 115 long-term unemployed people residing in the city, the paper first analyses the complex combination of barriers to work faced by members of this client group. Two recent labour market initiatives, developed by the local authority in partnership with other public and third sector agencies and (in one case) major employers, are then discussed. It is suggested that this locally focused, partnership-based approach may provide a useful model for local policy responses to long-term unemployment, particularly in buoyant labour markets.
- active labour market policy
- social policy