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ENABLING SUCCESS A New Strategic Framework to Tackle Economic Inactivity in NI. WHAT IS ECONOMIC INACTIVITY?. Labour market classification referring to those neither in work (employed) nor actively seeking work and available to start immediately (unemployed )

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what is economic inactivity
WHAT IS ECONOMIC INACTIVITY?
  • Labour market classification referring to those neither in work (employed) nor actively seeking work and available to start immediately (unemployed)
  • Current rate for economic inactivity in Northern Ireland is 27.1% - approximately 315,000 people (LFS Qtr 3 2013)
  • Significantly higher than UK average rate of 21.7%
  • NI has consistently had the highest inactivity rate of any UK region
background
BACKGROUND
  • Five major categories of inactivity:
          • Students (27%)
          • Long-term Sick & Disabled (28.4%)
          • People with Family Commitments (25.7%)
          • Early Retirees (under 65 years old) (12.4%)
          • Others (includes discouraged workers and those suffering from short-term injuries) (6.5%)
  • Key common characteristic of these groups is disengagement from the labour market
background1
BACKGROUND
  • NI Executive Programme for Government 2011-15 commitment
  • Baseline Study of economic inactivity in NI completed in 2013
  • Major cross-departmental Strategy: DEL, DETI, DSD, DHSSPS and Invest NI
  • Strategic Framework document presented to NI Executive in November 2013
  • 12 week consultation launched on 23 January and will run until 17 April
target groups
TARGET GROUPS
  • LONG-TERM SICK & DISABLED
    • 28.4% of all economically inactive = 89,000 individuals
    • Tend to fall into older age groups – majority over 45 years old
    • High proportion claiming for a mental health condition
    • Higher proportion of men
    • High dependency on state benefits (approximately 90%)
    • Majority have no formal qualifications
    • Poor motivation levels – over 80% do not want to work or feelthey can work

Key Target Sub-Group = those classified as having a work-limiting health

condition or disability

target groups1
TARGET GROUPS
  • FAMILY COMMITMENTS
    • 25.7% of all economically inactive = 81,000 individuals
    • Significantly higher proportion of women
    • Higher proportion in 35-44 age range
    • High dependency on state benefits (approximately 80%)
    • Lower proportion with no formal qualifications ( less than 20%)
    • Higher proportion of individuals with higher level qualifications
    • Poor motivation levels– over 80% do not want to work or feel they can work

Key Target Sub-Group = lone parents

target groups2
TARGET GROUPS

CommonCharacteristics

  • People who have been assessed as capable for work, if provided with the right support and opportunities
  • Total claimant count for both target sub-groups = 46,000 individuals (32%)
  • Reducing the rate of economic inactivity by 2% would require the transition of over 23,000 individuals, currently classified as inactive, into employment
strategic goal
STRATEGIC GOAL
  • People who have been assessed as capable for work, if provided with the right support
  • The overarching strategic goal is to contribute towards a stable and competitive employment rate of over 70% by 2023 through a reduction in the proportion of the working age population classified as economically inactive
strategic objectives
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
  • Reduce proportion of the working age population classified as economically inactive due to a work-limiting health condition or disability
  • Reduce the proportion of lone parents currently in receipt of out-of-work benefits
  • Prevent further in-flows to these categories through initiatives designed to promote flexible working, maintain employment for those already in employment and extend working lives
  • Contribute to a reduction of the unemployment rate to pre-recession levels through programmes designed to alleviate barriers to unemployment
strategic management and co ordination
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND CO-ORDINATION

Formulate a taskforce:

  • Representatives from government, business organisations and the community and voluntary sector
  • Supported by officials in key departments

Key functions:

  • Strategic responsibility for pilot testing regime and implementation of wider initiatives
  • Facilitating improved communication and co-ordination between key stakeholders
  • Raising wider awareness levels across Northern Ireland
  • Ensuring achievement of strategic objectives
framework for action
FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION

Increasing Engagement and Support

Promoting work and increasing access to pre-employment and in-work support

Outcomes

Increased levels of economic participation

Reduced levels of economic inactivity and long-term unemployment

A more diverse, skilled and active working age population

Taskforce

Key representatives from government, employers and the community and voluntary sector

Supported by officials in key departments

Breaking the Cycle

Preventing those at risk from disengaging with the labour market through a range of preventative measures

Increasing Opportunities

Providing incentives for employers to hire inactive individuals and invest in their personal development

Addressing Wider Barriers

Tackling disadvantage faced by specific groups in the labour market

increasing engagement and support
INCREASING ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT
  • Aim to increase engagement with inactive individuals and support and assist them with their specific issues
  • Wide range of existing provision for engaging and supporting inactive individuals across a number of government departments
  • Improve linkages and co-ordination between government services – to make it more simple for the end-user
pilot testing
PILOT TESTING
  • New regime of competitive pilot projects will be designed and developed to:
      • Test new and innovative approaches
      • Improve navigation and outcomes for inactive individuals
  • SBRI model of procurement: connect public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry
  • Projects must adhere to three key principles:
      • Scalability
      • Efficiency
      • Effectiveness
increasing opportunities
INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES

KEY STRATEGIC FACTORS

  • Ensuring that overall economic growth is strong enough to provide employment opportunities for inactive individuals
      • Drivers include NI Economic Strategy and Economy & Jobs Initiative aimed at stimulating demand and providing more opportunities for the unemployed and economically inactive
      • Complemented by other major government strategies
  • Ensuring that employers are engaged in assisting with the transition into work and sustaining employment opportunities for inactive individuals
      • Controlled use of employer subsidies
      • Intensive pre-employment and in-employment support for employer and employee
      • Guaranteed skills progression route for the employee
addressing wider barriers
ADDRESSING WIDER BARRIERS

PROPOSED NEW INTERVENTIONS

  • Key aims:
    • To highlight and reward positive practices in the workplace
    • To address labour market disadvantage faced by the two key inactive groups – older workers and individuals with mental health conditions
  • Proposals:
    • Introduce a ‘Corporate Champion’s’ age-positive campaign
    • Implement a new range of measures to tackle mental health stigma in the workplace
breaking the cycle
BREAKING THE CYCLE
  • Each year, around 600,000 people in the UK move onto incapacity benefits
  • Around 200,000 move from Job Seeker’s Allowance or Income Support before claiming for a health condition

Key objective: reduce the inflows into the target inactive categories

PROPOSED NEW INTERVENTIONS

  • Undertake a Northern Ireland scoping study of Dame Carol Black’s ‘Health at Work’ recommendations (The Black Report, 2008)
  • Key recommendation is to establish a Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service focusing on occupational health needs
  • Establish an expert panel to identify options and recommendations for further integration of health and work services in Northern Ireland
outcomes
OUTCOMES

Anticipated outcomes include:

  • Increased levels of economic participation
  • Reduced levels of economic inactivity and long-term employment
  • A more diverse, skilled and active working age population
conclusions
CONCLUSIONS
  • Economic inactivity has been a persistent feature of the NI economy for generations
  • We must be prepared to think outside the box
  • Government alone does not have all the answers – we need to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and use their expertise and experience
  • If we get this right, the results and benefits are exponential – for individual and NI economy
  • Together, we can really make a positive difference to many peoples’ lives
next steps
NEXT STEPS
  • 12 week public consultation exerciseending 17 April 2014
  • Ongoing stakeholder engagement via public engagement events
  • Analysis of consultation responses
  • Publish summary of responses
  • Development of final Strategy and Action Plan
  • Consideration by NI Executive
  • Commence Implementation
  • Regular stakeholder engagement throughout lifecycle of 10 year strategy