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Case study: Taking action in the downturn

Wigan Council and beyond

Having made real progress towards achieving the aims

of the 2008 Worklessness Strategy, Wigan sought to
re-visit and re-focus these aims in light of the economic
downturn. Experian Public Sector were able to quickly
deliver localised data, insight and specific policy
recommendations that will underpin the resilience and
future success of the strategy, as well as improving
the sustainability of Wigan’s long-term economic

Challenge levels of worklessness in deprived

Prior to the recession Wigan Council communities and reducing the
was making tangible progress number of young people (under 25)
towards its 2008 Worklessness claiming Incapacity, Job Seekers
Strategy, with the rates of Allowance, and Lone Parent benefits.
worklessness and incapacity benefit
claimants falling steadily – the latter Crucially, Wigan Council needed to
at a faster rate than the North West examine how these priorities should
or the UK. However, the recession be adapted in light of the current
has hit priority groups, with new economic climate and the new influx
areas of risk emerging and with of unemployed.
“Experian’s work for the rising numbers of job seekers in
deprived areas. Solution
council has underpinned Experian’s approach examined the
our refreshed Wigan has felt the effects of the impact of the economic downturn
worklessness strategy downturn more than most, with a on Wigan’s existing Worklessness
workforce largely composed of lower Strategy and made recommendations
and provides us with skilled occupations and a significant to refresh, prioritise and add to the
the recommendations construction and manufacturing existing programmes, helping them
sector presence; Experian estimates remain both relevant and targeted.
and evidence we need to that employment in Wigan’s will not Applying combined economic
support further specific reach pre-recession levels until 2017. modelling and policy capabilities,
our research was conducted in three
projects across the The challenge for Wigan Council phases.
board.” was therefore to assess the impact
of the recession on jobs, vulnerable
Christine Bainbridge sectors, potential growth sectors
Economic Regeneration Office and skills gaps both in the short
Wigan Council and long term. Existing priorities
included reducing the overall
Cardinal Place Embankment House 160 Dundee Street
80 Victoria Street Electric Avenue Edinburgh
London Nottingham EH11 1DQ
SW1E 5JL NG80 1EH T 44 (0) 131 228 8030
T 44 (0) 203 042 4000 T 44 (0) 115 941 0888 F 44 (0) 131 228 8040
F 44 (0) 207 746 8277 F 44 (0) 115 968 5003

The first phase sought to understand In the final phase we analysed the Results
the current impact of the downturn pressure points on existing provision This insight has provided Wigan
through data analysis and a literature and identified where there was scope
(DWP definition) Council with a clear picture of the
review. to prioritise and enhance the existing impact of the downturn on Wigan
Five most at risk types
In the second phase we applied policy response, particularly around the which has been used to refresh their
economic forecasts and our Penetration
proprietary additional challenges presented by the worklessness evidence base.
datasets to make projections of the0% recession.
impact of the downturn on Wigan 0 - 25% It has also enabled the Council to
including the extent of business failure
25 - 40% By applying Experian’s segmentation take a fresh look at their existing
and risk, and the impact on local tool Mosaic Public Sector to our schemes to support businesses and
40 - 60%
people in terms of job losses and skills analysis of Wigan’s deprived areas, individuals, highlighting how critical
60 - 100% we were also able to identify a new
gaps.This up-to-date and local level planning is for the upturn particularly
information was complemented by group of individuals at risk of long term ensuring that the workforce has the
stakeholder interviews to provide vital unemployment who are not located skills required for the future.
qualitative evidence. within existing DWP Deprived Areas.
Had these groups not been identified
they may not have been targeted for
support despite their immediate need.

(DWP definition)

Five most at risk types

0 - 25%
25 - 40%
40 - 60%
60 - 100%

DWP definition deprived areas mapped against those LSOAs with

the highest concentration of the five Mosaic types most at risk of
long term unemployment

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