APPG report on housing and employment

Year of Publication: 

The Inquiry brought together insights and testimonies from sector experts, housing providers, and residents from across England to examine the barriers working age people in social housing face in securing employment and progressing in work.

In its report published on 20 October 2020, Improving Opportunities: How to support social housing tenants into sustainable employment, written by UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), the Inquiry:

  • Identifies a need for funding certainty, devolved programmes to support employment opportunities
  • Spotlights how to improve employment and training for thousands of people across the UK
  • Suggests social housing provides affordability, stability people need to secure employment

Published in the face of the largest unemployment crisis faced in the UK for over 100 years, the report urges funding certainty for key programmes that help tackle unemployment. This includes the Shared Prosperity Fund, and clarity as to how it will replace the European Social Fund (ESF) which is coming to an end now the UK has left the EU. Housing providers rely on the ESF to deliver many of their employment and training services, and support people into work.

The report also warns that a national one size fits all approach fails to deliver for those who need it. Tge report recommends that employment support in England and Wales is commissioned, designed, and delivered locally – through local government, housing associations and local bodies. Devolving programmes in this way could save money whilst aligning employment support to fit local job markets, create new jobs and provide better opportunities for unemployed people to access sustainable employment.

The report suggests that the tenure security and affordability provided by social housing may give people the stability they need to create a foundation for success, helping them overcome barriers and in turn secure employment.

Other recommendations for Government consideration include:

  • Embed employment into local procurement contracts. Guarantee that jobs and apprenticeship opportunities are created for local people by requiring suppliers and contractors commit to providing these opportunities.
  • Provide temporary financial support for those entering the job market to help cover extra essential costs related to starting a job.
  • Focus on removing long-standing barriers to employment, including poor or expensive public transport, unaffordable childcare and irradicate digital exclusion with access to quality, affordable broadband for all.