Press release

Publication of DWP Research Report 717: Using Jobcentre Plus Services – qualitative evidence fromethnic minority customers

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Findings of qualitative research that explored the experiences of ethnic minority customers using Jobcentre Plus services.

A report is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the findings of qualitative research that explored the experiences of ethnic minority customers using Jobcentre Plus services.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Findings indicated that overall levels of satisfaction with Jobcentre Plus services do not appear strongly linked to ethnicity. 
  • There is an apparent preference among ethnic minority groups for face-to-face contact and more of an emphasis on the manner of staff and particularly the qualities of friendliness and politeness.
  • Common features of good practice were repeat contact with a dedicated adviser, personalised and tailored help, helpful and friendly attitudes of staff, and a rapid and efficient resolution of queries. 
  • The most dissatisfied customers were those who felt they experienced process-driven adviser interaction at the expense of a more customer-focused and personalised approach. 
  • Jobcentre Plus are generally consistent regarding their processes, but there was evidence of less consistency regarding the timeliness of their services, the knowledge and help offered by advisers and the way customers felt treated.
  • Few customers were aware that Jobcentre Plus could offer them support with complaints about an employer, despite the perception among some customers that employers discriminated against them on the grounds of age and ill health.  This provision would have been particularly relevant to ethnic minority customers, who were more likely than white British customers to report these experiences.

Notes to Editors

  1. The DWP research report ‘Using Jobcentre Plus Services - qualitative evidence from ethnic minority customers, was conducted during summer 2010 and involved 83 qualitative interviews with Jobcentre Plus customers.
  2. The Institute for Employment Studies conducted the research. The report authors are Rachel Marangozov, Anne Bellis, Helen Barnes.
  3. Website: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rrs-index.asp