Page 4: The modernised welfare state
The government believes that the best form of welfare for people of working age is to provide them with help to find work. This should raise not only their income but also their self-esteem, which in turn contributes to their health and well-being.
The government’s employment policy is built around four key ideas:
Employability - Helping people to find and keep a job involves:
- providing them with better education and training
- giving advice and support to anyone looking to move away from dependency on benefits and into a job, through a Welfare to Work programme
- improving the attractiveness of work through a minimum national wage and changes to the tax and benefits system in favour of people in work
- encouraging firms to improve their ongoing training programmes
- promoting a culture of lifelong learning so that people remain employable.
Entrepreneurship - This involves encouraging employers to be more innovative, more enterprising, more forward thinking so that UK firms remain competitive in world markets.
Adaptability - This includes helping businesses to become more willing and able to change and encouraging employees to respond positively to change.
Equal opportunities - This involves:
- providing women with the same career and promotion opportunities as men
- providing people from different ethnic groups with the same chance of a job
- guaranteeing people of different ages the same chance to find and retain a job
- offering people with disabilities the same job opportunities as able-bodied persons.
- overcoming discrimination in the workplace, through a mixture of education, persuasion and legislation.