The Salvation Army provides a network of specialist employment services across the UK. In recent years, increasing numbers of people have begun approach our services due to their inability to gain access to employment support through more mainstream channels, including through the social security system and in particular, through Universal Credit.
The Salvation Army has a long and proud history of supporting people into employment. As a society, it is essential that everyone has access to the help and support they need to find stable well paid employment, which makes the most of their abilities, skills, and interests.
As part of the church and charity’s role in providing this help and support, the Public Affairs & Social Policy Unit is responsible for developing evidence-based solutions to current and emerging issues around employment and social security and for promoting these solutions at a local and national level through our campaigns.
To develop evidence-based solutions, the Social Policy Team works closely with The Salvation Army’s Employment Services Team and the people who use these services to identify emerging trends and establish best practice.
To promote these solutions, the Public Affairs Team works in partnership with key stakeholders, including politicians, civil servants and other third sector organisations and campaigners, to influence local and national decision makers.
Through this combined effort, the Public Affairs & Social Policy Unit aims to ensure that people are not only supported to find employment, but that they are supported to find employment that avoids the kind of in-work poverty that has become all too common in today’s labour market.
The Public Affairs & Social Policy Unit currently has two main campaigns around employment and social security focusing on Universal Credit and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which is due to replace European Social Funding (ESF), as a key source of funding for specialist employment services.
Key areas of focus for our campaign around Universal Credit include:
- Improving the identification of additional needs so that claimants with mental health issues can receive appropriate support;
- Reducing the size of Work Coach caseloads so that they have the time and capacity to property identify and support clients who need extra help;
- Improving Claimant Commitments to better account for people’s individual circumstances; and
- Enhancing partnership working between Jobcentres and organisations offering specialist employment support like The Salvation Army.
Key areas of focus for our campaign on the UKSPF include ensuring that the new fund is:
- Locally focused;
- Prioritises inequality;
- Is flexible to economic shocks; and
- Reduces unnecessary bureaucracy.
Further information about our current campaigns, research, and responses to consultations and inquiries, across homelessness, employment and social security, and modern slavery can be found using the below tiles.
Working with decision makers to ensure the views of vulnerable people are heard
We urge the government to halt the expansion of Universal Credit until it is a system that works for everyone
How we are working with decision makers to change our society
We offer tailored support to help people become job-ready