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Sociology Research


This research, lead by Dr Adam Coutts, aims to demonstrate how and why participation within ALMPs affects the mental health and wellbeing of unemployed job seekers in the UK. This will be done by examining the ‘business as usual’ interventions of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and a new intervention (Group Work – JOBS II) which addresses job search and wellbeing issues among participants and aims to help improve their likelihood of finding employment. The research will provide timely policy-relevant UK evidence to address the existing evidence void on the health and wellbeing impacts of non-health sector policies such as labour market interventions for unemployed people. The research will:

  • Evaluate the Group Work (JOBS II) intervention being implemented by the Work and Health Joint Unit at DWP, asking if, how and why it affects mental health and wellbeing;
  • Examine how the ‘active’ processes and mechanisms used by the intervention can be enhanced in order to generate positive mental health and wellbeing outcomes across labour market interventions and who is most responsive to these interventions in terms of health and employment outcomes;
  • Explore how health and wellbeing outcomes can be better integrated and tangibly measured in order to complement existing methodologies of assessing policy effectiveness; and observe how a large scale social policy intervention and experimental evaluation is implemented by government and what are the key challenges.

Image Credit: 'Mental Health by Kevin Simmons [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0].