ONE Evaluation: Summary of Service Delivery findings
In-House Report No. 108
By Jayne Osgood, Vanessa Stone and Andrew Thomas (BMRB International) and Steve Dempsey, Graham Jones and Richenda Solon (Department for Work and Pensions)
At the Labour Party conference in September 1998, the Prime Minister announced the governments intention to introduce a Single Work-focused Gateway. Later that year, the Department of Social Security and the Department for Education and Employment drew up a joint command paper A new contract for welfare: The gateway to work which developed the proposal further. As a consequence, the ONE pilots (formerly the Single Work-focused Gateway) were launched in 1999, to test the feasibility of different ways of delivering joined-up benefit and employment services.
ONE was a new integrated service for delivering benefits1 to customers of working age (16 to 59), which was introduced in twelve pilot areas across England, Scotland and Wales between June and November 1999. The service was designed to bring together the Employment Service, Benefits Agency and Local Authorities into a single point of entry to the benefit system. The ultimate aims of ONE were to increase economic activity, encourage greater labour market participation and offer an effective, more streamlined service tailored to each clients needs. It also aimed to transform the culture of the benefit system towards independence and work where appropriate, rather than payments and dependence.
The ONE service was piloted in twelve areas, through three different models: the Basic Model (introduced in June 1999); the Call Centre variant; and the Private and Voluntary Sector variant (both introduced in November 1999). All clients claiming a ONE benefit were required to go through the new service following full-participation in April 2000. However, for customers claiming JSA, the regime remained unchanged in that they were still required to attend a fortnightly meeting to confirm they were available for and actively seeking work. They were also required to meet with a Personal Adviser every three, six and 12 months (and then every subsequent six months they are unemployed), to have an in-depth discussion about work. The main changes affected lone parents, sick or disabled clients, carers and widows (referred to collectively as non-JSA clients, in the following sections), who were claiming inactive benefits such as IS, IB, ICA or Widows Benefit. Central to the ONE service was the relationship between clients and their Personal Adviser. The Personal Adviser sought to identify the extent to which clients are job-ready and to help them accordingly. When clients were not job-ready further help and support was offered, and clients may be referred to specialist services, or training as appropriate.
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