Your work your way
Potential second earners in couple families, usually mothers, face high barriers to employment. Mothers typically face more barriers to work than fathers in couples, particularly because of issues relating to childcare and time spent out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities.
To evaluate barriers to work faced by this group and identify solutions to these barriers, we designed and delivered the Your Work Your Way (YWYW) project – an employment support scheme that worked with 70 potential second earners in couples, of whom 67 were mothers, to help them find and progress into work. The key components of YWYW included:
- Personalised employment support to develop skills and facilitate training and employment opportunities
- Welfare rights advice to maximise benefits and household income
- A personal budget of £2,000 for any costs associated with looking for work or setting up self-employment
All participants faced significant barriers to work at the start of YWYW, yet over a period of 6-12 months, the scheme resulted in:
- 54 per cent of participants moving into paid work; 49 per cent achieving sustained work for 6 months or more
- 76 per cent of participants engaging in work-focused training
- 80 per cent of participants increasing their financial confidence
But the scheme also highlighted other barriers, including childcare and the availability of flexible work opportunities, which cannot be addressed by employment support alone.