From Work First to Good Work: Supporting people into good jobs, not just any jobs

Wed, 10 Apr 2024

13:30 - 17:30

Manchester

This event will showcase cutting edge research and innovative new ideas from policy and practice, drawing expertise from policymakers, businesses, workers and trade unions.

For decades, UK policymakers have promoted a “Work First” approach to getting people into employment. This approach focuses on moving unemployed people into any job quickly, with the assumption that once people get “Any Job”, they will then get a “Better Job”, then a Career (the ABC approach). However, there is growing consensus that this approach is not fit for purpose: the UK is in a low-pay low-productivity rut and this approach arguably helps to trap us there. While interest in “fair” or “decent” work is gaining traction in some policy fields, until now this growing “Good Work” movement has rarely linked up with employment policies. Supporting people into good jobs, which fit their needs, capabilities and aspirations is key to better long-term outcomes – for individuals but also for our broader economic and social prosperity.

Hosted by Manchester Met’s Decent Work and Productivity Research Centre and MetroPolis (Manchester Met’s policy-focused think tank) and in partnership with the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), we invite you to join us for this mini-conference, bringing together policymakers, leading researchers, businesses, workers and practitioners to share their ideas on developing a more ambitious approach to supporting people into good jobs, not just any jobs.

We are delighted to be welcoming Alison McGovern MP (Shadow Minister for Employment and Social Security) as our keynote speaker.

Alison McGovern is Labour MP for Wirral South, and Shadow Minister for Employment and Social Security. She has served her hometown as their Member of Parliament since 2010. Under Keir Starmer's leadership, she returned to the frontbench in 2020, and now leads on labour market policy & social security, after 3 years on the Treasury Select Committee responsible for scrutiny of the UK's monetary and financial institutions. She was chair of Progress 2015-20, the organisation for Labour’s progressives, and as a pro-European, also took a leading role in the cross-party backbench liaison on Brexit. Before joining the House of Commons, she was deputy leader of the Labour group in the London Borough of Southwark. She is a regular on broadcast and in print on political and economic topics.

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