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

Evaluation of the Working Well Early Help programme

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2018-2022

Working Well Early Help is a flagship early intervention programme available to Greater Manchester residents in work who either become ill and risk falling out of the labour market or who are newly unemployed due to health issues. This evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the programme in preventing long term sickness and disengagement from the labour market, especially amongst those employed by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) where human resources, occupational health and employee wellbeing services are more limited. It will inform future investment decisions in similar programmes and services both in Greater Manchester and nationally.

Evaluation of phase two of South Yorkshire Housing Association’s Building Better Opportunities service

Project Director: Ian Wilson
Project Duration: 2020-2022

South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) has commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University to evaluate phase two of its Building Better Opportunities (BBO) service.

Lessons Learnt from the Sheffield City Region Health Led Employment Trial

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2019-2020

The Sheffield City Region Health Led Employment Trial provides employment support to people with mild to moderate health conditions to help them to remain in work or find work.  The programme is health led as the main referral routes into the scheme are via primary and acute health services.  This study will provide insights from partners involved in the co-design, implementation, referral pathways or delivery of the programme.  It centres on qualitative research undertaken with a range of stakeholders to shed light on their perceptions as to what has worked well or not so well and lessons to take forward for the future provision of integrated health and work provision in the city region.

Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019

Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.

More information can be found on the dedicated Talent Match Evaluation project website.

Industrial Strategy and the Regions

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2017-2018

This project builds on prior work by CRESR into the government’s industrial strategy. CRESR has been commissioned to build on this work and develop proposals for the Labour Party. The research is covering three main areas: the instruments or industrial strategy and regional policy; the institutions required to deliver the policy; and a series of datasets on sub-national indicators.

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)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
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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