This report maps the journeys of Birmingham residents seeking work in the second half of 2010 and reflecting on their experiences, makes recommendations for how employability support could be changed in the future – both to improve the rate of jobseekers finding work and to save the public purse money.
The commissioners, Birmingham’s Working Neighbourhood Fund and the Local Government Association’s Local Government Improvement and Development, wanted to understand the lived experience of being out of work, the root causes of local people’s worklessness and why some individuals disengaged from employability schemes before they found work.
In the second half of 2010 we carried out 50 in depth interviews and day-in-the-life-of studies with job seekers, as well as interviews with the employability support agencies. This research was commissioned to build a better picture of the underlying issues of worklessness in order to develop a range of new options for supporting those out of work. The report suggests a number of recommendations for the raft of providers delivering employability support; from redoubling efforts to create apprenticeships, to using social networks for job hunts, and working with whole families not just individuals.