Creating sustainable employment opportunities for the unemployed

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This article addresses challenges associated with creating sustainable employment opportunities for the unemployed and encouraging employer engagement in skills development and utilisation more generally. Survey and case study analysis of an initiative introduced by New Labour in the National Health Service England (NHS) provides evidence of employer reluctance to engage with a policy which addresses social exclusion and unemployment. Reasons are presented for this policy to implementation gap. This behaviour, in a buoyant economy, underlines a broader concern that voluntarism will be insufficient in the current economic climate to encourage employers more generally to adopt longer-term workforce development strategies. This reluctance to engage is compared with those NHS employers who were motivated to develop intermediate labour markets for the unemployed with explicit links to their internal labour markets, thereby providing opportunities for work experience and job progression. Implications are drawn from these contrasting behaviours as to how the state can encourage more employers to adopt progressive practices. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-359
Number of pages17
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • employability
  • healthcare management
  • new labour
  • NHS
  • sustainable employment
  • unemployment


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