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Social policy review 22Analysis and debate in social policy, 2010$
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Ian Greener, Chris Holden, and Majella Kilkey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427113

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427113.001.0001

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Re-connecting with ‘what unemployment means’: employability, the experience of unemployment and priorities for policy in an era of crisis

Re-connecting with ‘what unemployment means’: employability, the experience of unemployment and priorities for policy in an era of crisis

Chapter:
(p.120) (p.121) Six Re-connecting with ‘what unemployment means’: employability, the experience of unemployment and priorities for policy in an era of crisis
Source:
Social policy review 22
Author(s):

Lindsay Colin

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847427113.003.0007

This chapter provides an insightful appraisal of New Labour's ‘Work First’ supply-side approach to unemployment policy in new circumstances. It reconnects with earlier work by Adrian Sinfield, from a previous period of mass unemployment, to ‘recognize more fully what unemployment means’ both for those who directly experience it and for society as a whole. It reviews in detail how the concept of ‘employability’ has been interpreted and put into practice by New Labour, revealing in the process the inadequacy of this approach, especially in a period when mass unemployment requires analysis and action on its demand-side aspects. It offers an analytical framework that allows us to recognise and make sense of the full range of factors that affect the ability of individuals to access meaningful employment.

Keywords:   Work First supply-side approach, unemployment policy, mass unemployment, employability, New Labour, demand-side aspects

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