Ready to work? Understanding the experiences of people with multiple problems and needs

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The focus of current government policy on maximising labour market participation among those of working age is known to have particular implications for people with multiple problems and needs. This article reports preliminary findings from a study based on in-depth interviews with 50 people with experience of not only unemployment, but several additional problems, such as homelessness, ill-health or disability, substance abuse, the criminal justice system, and disruptive family relationships. It points particularly to the traumatic nature of the lives experienced by many of those participating in the study and to the corrosive culture of self-blame to which they were subject. It concludes by arguing for more holistic ways of supporting people in such situations and for a different approach to assessing 'job readiness'.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • Benefits (now known as The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice)

    New aims and scope

    Benefits (to be known as The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice from 2010) provides a unique blend of high-quality research, policy and practice from leading authors in the field related to all aspects of poverty and social exclusion. The journal has changed its name to reflect its wider scope and has growing international coverage.

    Content spans a broad spectrum of poverty-related topics including social security, employment and unemployment, regeneration, housing, health, education and criminal justice, as well as issues of ethnicity, gender, disability and other inequalities as they relate to social justice.

    With succinct articles ideal for teaching purposes and students, The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice combines an original and exciting mix of:

    • scholarly, peer-reviewed articles
    • cutting-edge discussions of topical issues
    • a comprehensive round-up of key publications

    It will be an essential resource for academics, policymakers and practitioners working in these areas.

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