A Study of Language and Communication Between Advisers and Claimants in Work Focused Interviews

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The primary aim of the study was to identify those techniques and styles used by advisers during Work Focused Interviews (WFIs) that were most effective in moving people closer to work, and to make recommendations concerning effective practice in WFIs. The findings highlight the importance of an interview style that is collaborative, directive, pro-active, positive and challenging.

This report presents the findings of an in-depth qualitative study - carried out by the Social Policy Research Unit and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language & Communication at the University of York - of WFIs between Personal Advisers and claimants in Jobcentre Plus offices, and a comparison with WFIs in private sector Employment Zone (EZ) offices. Over 180 scheduled WFIs were (mostly video) recorded in Jobcentre Plus and EZ offices in four areas of the country, involving three claimant groups, those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, incapacity benefits and Income Support for lone parents.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorwich
Number of pages244
VolumeNo. 633
ISBN (Print)978 1 84712 712 9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameDepartment for Work and Pensions Research Report


  • employment/benefits
  • research methodologies

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