By Elizabeth Becker, Oliver Hayllar and Martin Wood
When Pathways to work was first introduced in October 2003 in seven pilot areas, this mandatory programme was initially focused on those making a new or repeat claim for incapacity benefits. In February 2005, it was extended in these areas to cover customers who had already been claiming incapacity benefits for between one and three years.
Following its introduction in pilot areas, the programme was rolled out to new and repeat customers in ‘expansion’ areas in three phases from October 2005 to October 2006. In all theses areas, a similar model of Pathways to Work was implemented, with Jobcentre Plus as the hub of delivery.
The report presents the findings from wave two surveys of new and repeat and existing Pathways to Work customers in pilot and expansions areas. Earlier reports were based on an initial interview around a year after customers started on the programme (DWP research report 456, 627). This report is based on a further interview that was carried out with these customers a year later - around two years since their start on the programme. It aimed to address questions about further participation in Pathways services and uses a five-year work and activity history to explore patterns of working and longer-term work outcomes.
In some, Pathways to Work reached a substantial proportion of mandated customers among both the new and repeat and existing customer populations, and delivered services widely viewed by customers to be worthwhile. As with analysis of earlier periods, the overwhelmingly important factor for whether or not customers were in work was their perception of the state of their health.