The CIPD has joined forces with the Government on their flagship welfare to work initiative and is calling on HR professionals to help make the scheme a success.
The Work Programme aims to make sure that people who are unemployed and claim benefits are well placed to take advantage of available job vacancies.
Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD, said: “The coexistence of welfare dependency alongside opportunity is as much a failure of social policy as economic policy and can and must be tackled, whatever the rate of economic growth.”
He argued that poor work incentives and employers who overlook potential “wrapped in the cloak of disadvantage” of welfare dependency make it difficult for some claimants to find jobs.
Minister for employment Chris Grayling said that he was “delighted” that the CIPD had backed the scheme, adding: “It cannot be right that when new jobs are created in this country people on benefits are at the back of the queue.”
However, Personnel Today reported last month that the Institute for Public Policy Research had warned that the scheme depended on the availability of jobs and would not succeed unless more was done to reform the UK’s welfare-to-work system.
Philpott commented: “The argument that ‘there aren’t any jobs’ is just plain wrong. Clearly we need more jobs … but even when the stock of job vacancies is depressed, nationally, regionally, or locally, there is always a constant flow of opportunities coming on to the market.”
The CIPD will echo their call for HR support for the Work Programme at their annual conference next week, alongside Grayling.