This page contains a list of all the publications that I have written or contributed to since moving into politics. Each publication has a short written description as well as links to any press coverage, and you can download the full publications by simply clicking on the front cover images. I have also included links to media coverage that I received from other press releases.
This ‘annual review’ contains a wide range of information about how G4S Welfare to Work supports jobseekers in the South East, Yorkshire and Humber and the North West through the Work Programme - the Government’s flagship scheme for helping long-term unemployed people into employment. The review includes case studies of the jobseekers that G4S helped into sustainable employment, the results of their supply chain survey, examples of G4S’s work with local and national employers and feedback from key stakeholders in their three contract areas.
Here are some of the key achievements over the first 12 months of the G4S Work Programme from June 2011 to June 2012:
- G4S and their supply chain worked together to help over 9,000 people into employment, with 82% sustaining that employment
- G4S invested £3.6 million in voluntary sector partners throughout their supply chain
- The work of G4S generated an estimated annualised saving of £54 million to the taxpayer through helping people off benefits and into employment
- G4S supported over 5,000 employers across three contract areas to take on a jobseeker through the Work Programme
(published August 2012)
The ‘Work Programme’ represents the most significant shift in the welfare-to-work industry for many years. One of the most innovative features of the Work Programme is its emphasis on ‘payment by results’, which means that providers only get paid once an outcome has been achieved. In the case of the Work Programme, an outcome is helping someone secure employment. This policy paper looks in detail at the challenges faced in designing the funding model for the Work Programme. These challenges include: how the Government should fund ‘payment by results’; choosing how many providers the Government needs, and whether should they be from the private, public or voluntary sector; ensuring that providers deliver a high-quality service; and deciding when providers should be paid for delivering services.
The policy paper goes on to discuss how the funding model for the Work Programme could be applied to two other policy areas that will soon incorporate ‘payment by results’: offender rehabilitation and college courses. The same issues can also be considered by ministers and government officials when assessing other potential opportunities for a more outcome-based funding system such as the NHS.
(published June 2011)
With youth unemployment at record levels and graduates struggling to find work, internships – typically a period of workplace learning for undergraduates and graduates lasting from 3 to 12 months – have become an increasingly high-profile option for those finishing their university and college courses. The benefits to young people of completing an internship can be considerable in terms of learning technical or practical skills, gaining experience in an industry sector and developing their employability skills such as teamwork. In addition, employers who run internships stand to gain through bringing young people with new ideas into their organisation and building a talent pipeline for their industry, while some employers are even using internships as a way of assessing potential new recruits. However, despite these significant benefits to young people and employers, the debate over whether internships should be paid or unpaid has yet to be resolved.
This policy paper made three recommendations:
1. The existing apprenticeship minimum wage structure should be converted into a new ‘training wage’ of £2.50 an hour, which applies to all apprenticeships and internships.
2. Through guaranteeing that all interns are paid a minimum of £2.50 an hour, all unpaid internship positions should subsequently be treated as a breach of National Minimum Wage legislation.
3. To accompany the new training wage, a code of best practice for internships should be published to deliver as many high-quality opportunities for young people as possible.
Financial Times – Call to pay interns ‘training wage’ (subscription required)
(published June 2010)
Financial Times – Call for review of 50% university target (subscription required)
The world of skills, whether it be vocational education, apprenticeships or adult education, has been subject to near constant upheaval for at least 25 years. In recent years the Government has attempted to increase the volume of post compulsory education, improve the status of vocational courses and make the whole system more ‘demand-led’. Yet the skills system in England remains chaotic and unproductive. It is widely agreed that not only is not demand-led, being driven instead by the priorities of the Government, but it is also shockingly complex and wasteful. The purpose of this report was to unpick the problems which beset the skills system in England. We offered recommendations for reform which will simplify the system and make it genuinely responsive to the needs of employers and individuals, whilst incentivising providers to deliver to the hardest to reach learners. As part of this analysis the report looked in detail at Train to Gain, the Government’s funding scheme for employers; apprenticeships; Sector Skills Councils, basic skills; Skills Accounts; and the hardest to reach learners.
(published January 2010)
This guide was aimed at employers that are either thinking of starting an internship programme for the first time or wish to improve their current offering. The guide covers six principles of internships:
PAYMENT AND DURATION;
REFERENCE AND FEEDBACK.
Each of these principles is given a dedicated section within this guide and goes on to suggest how they can be addressed in a way that gives the greatest benefit to both the intern and the employer. At the back of the guide, you will also find a checklist for employers to use when assessing the quality of their internship programme and a voluntary written agreement that gives employers the option of formally recognising their commitment to the principles in this guide.
(published December 2009)
Britain will need more science skills if it is to prosper. According to the CBI a staggering 92% of firms across all sectors require people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, but more than 59% are experiencing problems finding them. The Government has repeatedly claimed that the numbers of pupils studying STEM subjects is going up. However, this is misleading as the school population has also increased considerably since 1997, meaning that we cannot derive any accurate measure of how popular STEM subjects are from raw numbers. Our report debunked the Government’s claims about the performance and take-up of science subjects at every level – GCSE, A Level and degree. Instead, misleading figures and lowered standards were found to behind many of the apparent ‘improvements’, with the result that British businesses now face a critical skills shortage.
(published September 2009)
RISING MARKS, FALLING STANDARDS
AN INVESTIGATION INTO LITERACY, NUMERACY AND SCIENCE IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS
One of the most enduring debates in education concerns ‘standards’ in primary and secondary schools. Literacy, numeracy and science form the backbone of the school curriculum with the intention of equipping pupils with these core skills by the time they leave school. The purpose of this report is to investigate the extent to which literacy, numeracy and science have improved since 1997 with a particular focus on SATs at age 7, 11 and 14. Through a detailed analysis of national school performance data, a number of serious concerns are raised with regard to the current state of pupils’ core skills. In addition, the curriculum from the ages of 14 to 16 – which includes GCSEs, Diplomas and Apprenticeships – is assessed in terms of its rigour, complexity and credibility. We also put forward our recommendations for the future direction of primary and secondary education, including a new model for SATs, more freedom for schools in how they teach core skills and creating a better set of academic and vocational options for pupils at age 14.
(published April 2009)
With a long way to go to meet the government target of one million fewer claimants on Incapacity Benefit by 2015, there is an increasing recognition that efforts must focus not only on returning people from welfare to work, but also on preventing the slide from employment towards benefits in the first place. Intertwined with this challenge is the prevalence of mental ill health in the UK population and workforce, with as many as one in six employees suffering from some form of common mental illness – such as stress, anxiety or depression – at any one time. Mental ill health presents significant costs for individuals, employers and the state, but although all these stakeholders would benefit from the provision of effective and timely interventions to support those with common mental health conditions, diluted responsibilities mean there is a market failure in the provision of appropriate products and services.
This study explored the significance of mental ill health for UK businesses and society, the benefits of remaining in employment for those with mental health conditions and the barriers to doing so. It argued that employers should be encouraged to take on responsibility for the provision of appropriate support and advocated a range of mechanisms which the government should explore to offer effective incentives.
(published October 2008)