Welfare reform hitting the poorest hardest

Welfare reform and labour markets

CRESR has a national reputation for undertaking research on labour markets in specific regional contexts among specific sub groups of the population and on labour market initiatives and welfare reform.

The centre is experienced at undertaking both large and small scale studies tailored to meet clients' needs. We use a range of methods to undertake process evaluations, impact analysis of labour market initiatives on outcomes, and the tracking of trajectories of local labour markets over time to assess the impact of welfare reform.

Key areas of expertise include:

  • conducting in-depth qualitative research with stakeholders, service providers and participants of job-activation schemes
  • designing, undertaking and analysing large scale surveys of workless individuals, households and benefit claimants
  • statistical analysis, benchmarking and spatial analysis of labour market trends, secondary and administrative data, benefits data and labour market outcomes
  • small area estimation of labour market accounting techniques and econometric analysis
  • profiling of labour markets in specific geographic areas
Search our work

Talent Match Sheffield City Region Local Evaluation

Project Director: Elizabeth Sanderson
Project Duration: 2016-2017

Sheffield Futures are the lead partner of the partnership delivering the Big Lottery Fund's Talent Match Programme in the Sheffield City Region. The Programme aims to address high levels of unemployment among 18-24 year olds in the area. Although led by Sheffield Futures the involvement of various local delivery partners has meant there are different delivery models across the City Region.

Sheffield Futures would like to undertake an interim evaluation to understand which aspects of the delivery model have worked and which have worked less well.

Overcoming disconnection and deprivation in city regions

Project Director: Alasdair Rae (University of Sheffield)
Project Duration: 2015-2016

The Department of Town and regional Planning at the University of Sheffield is leading a research project commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The study seeks to develop policy proposals which can help local and national policy-makers overcome the traditional disconnect between deprived neighbourhoods and economic growth. The other research partner is the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. The main aims of the study are:

  • to identify which deprived places and neighbourhoods in the UK are well connected within urban labour markets, and which are not. This will be achieved through the creation of new measures of neighbourhood connectedness for the whole of the UK
  • to "ground-truth" the analysis by examining the neighbourhood types identified across the UK's eleven core cities, plus London. This involves policy and stakeholder consultation at the city region level
  • to provide research results in a way that resonates with a policy audience. This necessitates consultation with policy makers and key stakeholders throughout the research.

The project team also includes Ruth Hamilton (University of Sheffield).

Housing Benefit for Young People

Project Director: Professor Ian Cole
Project Duration: 2015

A study of the potential impact of the withdrawal of Housing Benefit from 18 to 21 year olds who are claiming JSA.

Evaluation of the Prepaid Card Live Test

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson and Dr Kesia Reeve
Project Duration: 2015

The aim of the prepaid card live test was to explore the feasibility of using prepaid cards to make benefit payments and to help identify any technical issues or opportunities to enhance financial inclusion presented by their use.  As part of this, DWP considered that it was essential to examine and capture the experiences of card users, including how the card worked for them as individuals and their views on how useful they found prepaid cards as a budgeting tool.

Evaluating Circle Housing Wherry’s HB2U pilot project

Project Director: Dr Kesia Reeve
Project Duration: 2014-2015

The aim of the project is to carry out an evaluation of data collection on tenants affected by Direct Payment of Housing Benefit, in preparation of Universal Credit. We will be required to produce a report on these findings, supported by additional activities during the reporting period.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Professor Del Roy Fletcher at d.r.fletcher@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 3487,
or Professor Christina Beatty at c.beatty@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 3539.

Key clients

British Destinations
Circle Housing Wherry
Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation
Community Links
Department for Work and Pensions
Financial Inclusion Services (Yorkshire)
Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF)
Jobcentre Plus
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Labour Party
Ministry of Justice
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
National Housing Federation
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Nottingham City and County Employment and Skills Board
Nottinghamshire County Council
Residential Landlords Association
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Small Business Service
Visit Wales
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