What isn’t working?
Far too many single parents are held back from finding sustainable employment by a lack of skills. Single parents are disproportionately low-qualified, and almost a third only have GCSE or equivalent level qualifications. There is a wealth of evidence showing that just a small increase in qualifications improves jobseekers’ chances of finding better paid, more secure employment,
Nonetheless, it is increasingly difficult for single parents to access training and development opportunities that would help them on the path to more sustainable employment, particularly as welfare-to-work programmes are still mainly predicated on a ‘work first’ approach. Many single parents have a clear idea about what training they could do and where this would lead them, but are thwarted by a system which does not take the long-term view this would entail.
How to make it work
In order to break the cycle of churn and entry into low-skilled work, we need to see:
All single parents on Job Seekers Allowance entitled to access a year’s job-related training course
Single parents on income support entitled to fee remission for training course fees