The 'employment first' welfare state: lessons from the New Deal for young people

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New Labour is introducing an 'employment first' welfare state. A new Jobcentre Plus Agency is transforming the passive culture of the benefit system and creating more explicit links between individual behaviour and engagement with labour market programmes. The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) has been at the forefront of these changes. This article reports on the findings from four independent case studies to explore how the NDYP is being implemented at the front line and how this welfare to work regime has changed young people's experience of the welfare state. It concludes that the programme is not the monolithic instrument of social control, suggested by many of its social policy critics, but a complex and sometimes contradictory synthesis of employment assistance and pressure which has made real progress in improving front line services and getting young long term unemployed people into work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-724
JournalSocial Policy & Administration
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


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