Edited by Peter Lilley MP
In December 2006 the Department for Work and Pensions commissioned David Freud to investigate welfare reform. The Freud Report, which was published in March 2007, had one core recommendation: to use the private and voluntary sectors in the provision of employment services. However, while Freud briefly mentioned experiences made abroad, there was no detailed analysis of the reforms in other countries. Among UK policy makers, knowledge of international experience is patchy.
This gap spurred Policy Exchange to commission research about five countries that have reformed the way in which they provide employment services to jobseekers: Australia, the United States (Wisconsin), Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. These countries are most frequently mentioned in welfare reform debates. Their experiences are assessed with regard to the lessons they hold for the UK by former Secretary of State for Social Security, Peter Lilley MP.