Researchers: Sociology: Professor Paul Drew, Dr Merran Toerien - SPRU: Dr Roy Sainsbury, Annie Irvine
Funder: Department for Work and Pensions
Duration: October 2008 to December 2009
The gap between the age at which people leave the labour force and overall life expectancy is increasing, meaning that there is a growing period of dependency on pensions and, in turn, growing costs to employers and state pension providers. Against this context, the UK government was reviewing welfare, pensions and labour market policies with the aim of stimulating the economic and social inclusion of older people and had been seeking to encourage individuals to stay in work longer. However, there was limited information about provision of DWP/Jobcentre Plus services for the 50-69 age group, especially from the client’s perspective. The Extending Working Lives (EWL) team within the DWP commissioned this exploratory study in order to contribute to knowledge about the provision for and experiences of older people who are out of employment.
The overarching aim of the study was to provide insight into whether there were differences in the content and structure of interactions between advisers and the younger and older age cohorts during Work Focused Interviews (WFIs).
This was achieved through a qualitative exploration of a corpus of audio and video recordings of WFIs taking place in Jobcentre Plus (JCP) offices, using the methodology of Conversation Analysis. For the purposes of the analysis, the younger age cohort is defined as people aged 49 and below. The older age cohort is defined as people aged 50 and above (50+).
The study drew upon data collected for a larger study exploring interactional styles across a range of WFI types: A conversation analysis study of work-focused interviews.
The research contributed to informing the development of EWL strategies and policy, and establishing a baseline of 50+ client experience of service provision.
"As a result of this research more training is being introduced to help advisers understand the detailed issues faced by some people over the age of 50." DWP Press release 29 June 2010
An Exploratory Comparison of the Interactions Between Advisers and Younger and Older Clients during Work Focused Interviews, 2010
Irvine, A., Sainsbury, R., Drew, P. and Toerien, M., Department for Work and Pensions Research Report, No. 634. An exploratory comparison of the interactions between advisers and younger and older clients during Work Focused Interviews, 2010
Irvine, A., Sainsbury, R., Drew, P. and Toerien, M., Department for Work and Pensions Research Summary, Department for Work and Pensions.