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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Recruitment Subsidy (Golden Hellos)

Country of implementation
United Kingdom
General short description of the innovation
This recruitment and training subsidy was meant for businesses, and invited them to claim 2,500 towards the recruitment and training costs of hiring somebody who has been out of work for six months or more. The recruitment element of 1,000 was available to all while the 1,500 for training was dependent on further criteria, including location. Other elements of the package of measures include more support for people who want to set up their own business, and the opportunity to do work-focused volunteering. This subsidy was a part of the 500 million emergency fund package introduced after the 2008 recession.
Target group
Total Population
Policy Field
  • general fiscal
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
April 2009 until July 2010 (originally planned until March 2011)
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The subsidy sought to facilitate recruitment and investment in training in times of economic downturn, and aimed to get people in employment while maintaining or developing their skills. By concentrating funds on the longer-term unemployed, as opposed to the newly jobless, the government sought to undermine a line of attack that claimed their welfare reforms unachievable due to the crisis.
Type of innovation
  • retrenchment or expansion of an existing/earlier policy
New outputs
  • subsidies/tax-credits
Intended target group
Unemployed out of work for more than six months
Working age population
  • employment situation (unemployed)
  • main source of income: social protection (social assistance)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
  • employers (organised or individual)
Intended output
  • subsidies/tax-credits
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
DWP-commissioned research (Adams et al. 2011) showed that at a point 15-24 months following entry into employment attracting the recruitment subsidy, 75% of claimants were still in paid work and only a relatively small proportion had returned to claiming JSA (16%). Not all of these were working for the employer who received the recruitment subsidy although half (47%) continued to be employed in their subsidy roles. On average, recruitment subsidy claimants had spent just over nine of the 12 months between the initial and follow-up interviews in work. Claimants who had entered roles attracting the recruitment subsidy via the bulk billing route were less likely still to be working for the same subsidy employer, but they were no more or less likely to be in paid work. Differences in the likelihood to remain with the subsidy employer were already evident at the time of the initial interview and it is largely these differences reflected at the follow-up stage (bulk billing claimants who were in the role attracting the subsidy at the time of the initial interview were no more or less likely to have remained in this role than claimants who had used the self-marketing voucher). High proportions of claimants remaining within the same role have seen positive developments in terms of responsibilities, salary, hours or contractual arrangements. Similarly, a high proportion of claimants who have moved from their original subsidy role to another employer have seen positive improvements in salary, hours or contract status. / / Overall performance of the six-month offer programme was positive. Across findings from all four strands, the work outcomes that were achieved at the initial interview have proved sustainable to the medium-term. Around a third of participants in the Training and Volunteering Strands were in paid work compared to around three-quarters of those experiencing the Recruitment Subsidy and Self-Employment Strands. Around half of Training and Volunteering Strand participants were claiming JSA compared with around 15% of participants in each of the other two Strands. / / / Sources: / Adams, L. (2011). Six-month offer evaluation: findings from the longitudinal claimant survey, DWP Research Report No. 769, London/Sheffield. / Knight G. et al. (2010). Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal, the Six Month Offer and Support for the Newly Unemployed evaluations: An early process study, DWP Research summary. / Veszpremi, S. The 6 Month Offer: New Help for the Unemployed, Jobcentre Plus presentation. /
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