What is Welfare to Work?

‘Welfare to Work’ is a social policy introduced by the Blair government in 1997 aiming to provide work, education and training programmes for the unemployed by providing government money to companies which are prepared to create jobs for the unemployed.
A number of organisations, including charities, private recruitment or training businesses and contract services companies run a variety of government contracts which focus on specific groups of those claiming benefits; this includes the long-term unemployed, single parents and those on disability benefits.

Our Track Record

Michael Page Retail has been making placements into the Welfare to Work sector since 2003 and as the government has been handing out more, and bigger, contracts so we have become more involved. In the last 18 months, we have made over 50 management placements into leading Welfare to Work businesses including Reed in Partnership, Maximus, Ingeus and Working Links.We have placed Branch Managers, Area Managers, Operations Managers and Regional Directors, on salaries between £30,000 – £80,000,

What can we do for you?

Companies hiring - Michael Page Retail has created an extensive database of quality candidates with strong management experience within a variety of functions across Welfare to Work. Unlike the other suppliers in this sector we are able to augment these candidates with strong retail leaders  generated over ten years as a market leader in the retail/hospitality sector. All candidates we represent will be fully referenced to assure basic quality, so you will have to invest minimal time to employ the right individuals. We have a proven record of delivery within the sector and can provide testimonials for the work we have undertaken.
Candidates - Whether you are a veteran of the Welfare to Work arena wanting to develop your career or a retailer with a desire to move into a new and growing sector we can help you. We understand the Welfare to Work market and will invest time  to ensure you understand the space, your options and your marketability. In addition to this, we will help you  any way we can, including – CV advice, interview guidance, in depth preparation prior to interview and ongoing feedback.

Moving into the sector for the first time?

Whilst knowledge of the sector is useful, the awarding of such large contracts as ‘Pathways to Work’ and ‘flexible New Deal’ recently has meant that most W2W companies have been looking outside of the sector for some new blood, and retail has been the preferred background. Recent placements have included retail managers from clothing retailers, food service, mobile phones, banking and even a well known zoo.
Management roles within this sector will test your leadership skills, your people skills; in fact, all of the key attributes you have used so far in your retail career. You will also have to quickly learn the ‘ins and outs’ of contract management, 3rd party relationship management and working with government agencies such as Job Centre Plus and the Department for Work and Pensions. This is a great opportunity  to broaden your horizons and pursue a career that makes a real difference to those members of our community who need help the most.
 For more information please email Emily Knights or contact her on 0207 269 2513.


"I have worked with Michael Page Retail for a year and during that time I have received a very professional, efficient and proactive service and through their commitment to me and A4e have gained a strong understanding of our business needs from Welfare to Work through to our healthcare division.  I have employed numerous operational managers up to director level and those individuals have added significant value and demonstrated commitment to our industry.  
One of the great things about Michael Page Retail and their consultants is that they have been able to use their experience within the retail and hospitality industry to identify people who have the right transferable skills to move across to A4e and become successful within the public service reform sector.  A4e continues to use Michael Page Retail and would have no hesitation in recommending them."
Senior HR Manager
"We have recently approached Michael Page Retail to assist with a number of management roles within the welfare to work sector. The company has provided a professional and responsive service which has been tailored to the needs of our business. The screening and vetting of candidates has been highly effective. We would happily use the services of Michael Page Retail again should the need arise."
Head of Human Resources
Careers Development Group
"I have worked with Michael Page Retail to secure a senior level appointment within the Welfare to Work sector. I have extensive experience of senior management in the sector already and have found Michael Page Retail to be well-connected in this area, and as ever adopting an extremely courteous and professional approach at all times. Their support and expertise in my career transition at senior levels has been invaluable."
Senior Manager, Leading Welfare to Work provider