Jobcentres are failing to help about a third of their customers – mainly the long-term workless – and should be restructured to enable private companies and charities to compete with government providers, a report by the influential centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange has proposed.{jcomments on}

The report, which came out on Monday, says jobcentres are failing many of the 11.5 million people in Britain with a long-term health condition, especially those with a mental health problem. It says the employment service should be rebranded as Citizen Support and advise the unemployed on the best personalised service available to them, including the data on their previous success rates. This would give the jobless person the advantage of being able to decide which service they wanted to commission to help them find work.

The call to reform employment services is not confined to the centre-right. Sharp criticisms of their performance have been made by the Labour MP David Lammy and, from a different perspective, by the centre-left thinktank the Institute for Public Policy Research.

The Policy Exchange call for reform comes before a report for the government into whether the benefit sanctions regime is failing too many unemployed, especially those on the work programme.

Read the full story in the Guardian



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