Now it's personal: personal advisers and the new public service workforce

Providing tailored one-to-one support to help people back into work has been central to the UK Government's reform of the welfare system. This report argues that a new examination is needed on the role of personal advisers. The report is based on focus groups with service users, in-depth interviews with advisers, surveys of personal advisers and employment providers and a review of the literature. Qualitative analysis is presented to show changes in the ratio of Job Centre Plus advisers to the number of interviews they conducted since the recession began. The report argues for improved training to 'up-skill' the adviser workforce and a new agenda for the career progression and professional development of personal advisers.