DWP have worked with local authorities, Jobcentre Plus and local partners in five areas to develop Co-Design Pilots, testing new solutions in tackling worklessness – in a world where local authorities are had to rethink their role, given greatly reduced resources and the advent of the Work Programme and Community Budgets. The pilots were in Birmingham, Bradford, Lewisham, South Tyneside and Swindon. New ways of working variously related to, eg, working with families; Jobcentre Plus outreach; key workers; personal budgets; social enterprise for employability; and employer engagement; and a youth employment campaign. On behalf of Local Government Improvement and Development – since absorbed within the Local Government Association
, we supported the pilots and wider dissemination. We set out to:
- bring together knowledge and learning from the pilots and parallel developments in other parts of the country
- signpost relevant tools, research and evidence, eg, on customer insight, cost-benefit, and service design and innovation
- highlight policy developments which are shaping the future terrain
Resources from this work are available for download:
- Customer insight and worklessness: recent contributions to knowledge, evidence and techniques relating to the needs and experiences of customers of worklessness services.
- Cost benefit and value for money resources: materials designed to assist partners in assessing financial costs and benefits in planning and commissioning, business case preparation, evaluation, and so on. It goes beyond ‘worklessness’ in including relevant content on children and young people, health and crime reduction which matter when looking at wider social returns and potential savings to the public purse.
- Evaluation checklist for worklessness co-design: a set of questions, developed for the pilots to help them build in evaluation from the outset (content linked to the appendix in DWP’s interim report which provides a ‘light touch’ cost-benefit framework.
- Worklessness co-design pilots: what’s been tried elsewhere?: a briefing on local ‘pilots’ in other parts of the country that have used structured approaches to innovation. These include initiatives stemming from Total Place and programmes such as Family Intervention projects, Drug System Change and Child Poverty Pathfinders which explore similar themes and challenges.
- Tools for worklessness co-design: signposts to tools supporting collaborative planning and commissioning, customer insight and behaviour change, and service redesign and innovation.
The final DWP Co-design report
drew out achievements, lessons and next steps. It also included case studies on each of the pilots, a checklist for local authorities on working with JCP and Work Programme contractors, and an outline of what JCP bring to the partnership table.