Street-level practice and the co-production of third sector-led employability services

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


Policymakers have promised a personalised approach to improving the employability of disadvantaged groups. The evidence suggests that contracted-out activation programmes in the UK and some other welfare states have instead sometimes delivered a standardised 'work-first' model. An alternative approach is exemplified in local employability services targeting lone parents in Scotland, led by third sector–public sector partnerships. Our research on these services suggests a link between programme governance (defined by flexible funding and collaborative partnership working) and effective street-level practice (where caseworkers and users co-produce services to empower parents). The article concludes by identifying lessons for the coproduction of future employability services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-587
Number of pages17
JournalPolicy and Politics
Issue number4
Early online date4 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • active labour market policy
  • activation
  • unemployment
  • employability
  • co-creation
  • public services
  • single parents
  • poverty


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