Street-Level Practice, Personalisation and Co-Production in Employability: Insights from Local Services with Lone Parents
Policymakers in the UK have promised to deliver personalised employability services for vulnerable jobseekers. However, unemployed people often describe their engagement with state-funded services as defined by: the offer of low cost, standardised job search services; and pressure to accept any job, irrespective of quality or appropriateness. This article argues that more progressive, co-produced alternatives are possible. We draw on an evaluation of local, third sector-led services targeting lone parents (LPs) in five local government areas in Scotland. Our research involved more than 100 in-depth interviews with both service providers and LPs. We find that partnership-oriented co-governance mechanisms facilitated collaborative approaches to the management of services and processes of co-production. LPs expressed positive views of the personalised services that were co-produced. We conclude that a commitment to collaboration and co-production may be more effective in promoting personalised services that are responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups.
SOURCE: Lindsay C, Pearson S, Batty E, Cullen A, et al. “Street-Level Practice, Personalisation and Co-Production in Employability: Insights from Local Services with Lone Parents.” Social Policy and Society, 21 May 2019.
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