In work progression

The proportion of people in work in the UK has steadily improved but in-work poverty has also risen and one fifth of people earn less than the voluntary living wage. Job security is also a prominent issue, with one in nine workers in some form of insecure work (zero hours, temporary, agency contracts and low-paid self-employment). Many people are getting stuck or continuously moving in and out of low pay, rather than being able to move on to higher paid jobs.

Disjoints and shortfalls in policy contribute to this. The UK’s employment system helps people back to work quickly when they lose their jobs, but has less focus on helping people stay in and progress at work. the learning and skills system supports a range of important learning, but funding is primarily focused on young people and those with fewer qualifications.

This leaves many in low paid work with little support to get on or change careers, a growing challenge in an era of lengthening working lives and ongoing changes in the world of work.

Our work focuses on building understanding of how we can improve the quality of work and support people to progress in work. We do this through analysis, evaluation and sharing best practice.

See us in action during a Work and Pensions Select Committee

Watch our chief executive Stephen Evans give evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee on in-work progression under Universal Credit.

In 2016, the Committee launched an inquiry on “in-work progression” for people claiming Universal Credit (UC). The flagship Government policy plan has the aim of encouraging and supporting people who are in already in work and claiming UC to increase their pay, through more hours, or getting a better paying job. The Committee has previously described the plans as “potentially the most significant welfare reform since 1948″.

The Committee identified particular concerns about the conditions that could be attached to any new support to assist people trying to increase their income from work.