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Views & commentary

Open Door Policy: Should the new government introduce an Employment Advice Guarantee?

Views & commentary

Open Door Policy: Should the new government introduce an Employment Advice Guarantee?

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We have supported Demos on their new report ‘Open Door Policy: Why the new government should introduce an Employment Advice Guarantee’ which calls for the new government to introduce an Employment Advice Guarantee. The research looks at what the government could do to consolidate public employment and careers services to open up access to all who may need it.

We know that work is an important part of people’s lives, and a key way for people to help save more for their retirement. But many people are unsure how best to get employment information and advice or what opportunities are out there. There are currently several government employment support services that are available to the general public but these are often limited to certain priority groups or those already in receipt of welfare support. This report presents the government with policy solutions to streamline employment and careers service through an employment advice guarantee.  

Good for productivity

Good work provides both economic and social value, supporting people’s financial security, health and wellbeing. Enabling as many people as possible to find, stay and progress in good jobs is therefore a key objective for policy makers.

Access to careers advice and employment support can help boost economic growth by supporting more people to find a job, give people the confidence to get new skills and qualifications, or better match people to the right role, boosting job satisfaction and productivity.

Employment advice gap

Demos’ research drawing on a nationally representative sample of 4,000 people, showed that there is a significant unmet demand for employment related advice, guidance and support: one in three want to access careers and employment advice, but only one in seven have used a public service to get advice in the last two years.

Back to work support gap

One in three of those currently out of work would like to start a new job, but only one in seven have accessed a public service to get advice or support in the last two years. The ‘back to work support gap’ is equivalent to 2.1 million people currently out of work who want to start a new job but haven’t been able to access advice, guidance or support to help them.

What can the Government do?

  • Employment advice guarantee: A Guarantee that if you want advice or support related to jobs, careers or work that you will be able to access it. This should include both online resources and face-to-face consultation and should be accessible to those in an out of work at a regional and local scale.
  • Provide a 'digital front door': All-access ‘front door’ which should make it as easy as possible for anyone to access careers advice and employment support. In the medium-term, Demos have called for a Jobs and Careers Service England to integrate digital and in-person services. Read more about the 'Open Door Policy: Why the new government should introduce an Employment Advice Guarantee.' 

Employment support will not only benefit individuals for the future but improve the UK’s productivity and the labour market. Whilst creating a ‘digital front door’ is a great first step to triage people to the relevant support that they need, further reforms should come into place to address the structural challenges of employment, careers and jobs public services. We welcome how the ‘digital front door’ ties into Demos’ Universal Work Service as well as the forthcoming work of the Commission on the Future of Employment Service by the Institute for Employment Studies. All of which can help more people be in better work, that enables them to save more for their futures.