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Intergenerational worklessness and fragile employment

This research was commissioned on behalf of the Welsh Government Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty to provide evidence on effective approaches to tackling intergenerational worklessness and fragile employment.

In the policy debates around welfare reform in the UK, it has often been claimed that there are generations of families where no one has ever worked. While there is a lack of robust evidence for Wales, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that intergenerational worklessness, under this definition, does not exist on a significant scale in the UK.

However, there is evidence that some families and households experience intergenerational ‘fragile employment’ – where individuals move repeatedly in and out of insecure, low paid jobs, and that this is more prevalent than persistent worklessness. This is a significant problem for some individuals, households and communities.

Aside from employment experience, studies suggest that worklessness and fragile employment across generations of the same household are caused by a range of complex supply side factors associated with poverty and social exclusion – such as family instability, educational attainment and health – along with demand side factors such as the state of local labour markets.

The research:

uses an employability framework, which sets out the range of factors that restrict an individual’s ability to enter, remain and progress in work, to highlight the complex nature of worklessness and fragile employment and to analyse the range of factors that policy interventions need to try to addressreviews local, national and international evidence and highlights the importance of personalised approaches for tackling worklessness and fragile employment tailored to the individual, household, or local conditionshighlights policies that the Welsh Government, labour market intermediaries and other actors should consider to tackle intergenerational worklessness and fragile employment in Wales[AEG1]

Link to the report will be added when available.

Project Team:

Anne Green - Principal Investigator
Daria Luchinskaya

Project Duration:

November 2015 - February 2016

Project Funder:

Welsh Government via Public Policy Institute for Wales