Department for Work and Pensions

Promoting opportunity and independence for all

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for delivering the Government’s welfare reform agenda. Its principle aim is to promote opportunity and independence for all. It delivers support and advice through a modern network of services to people of working age, employers, pensioners, families and children and disabled people.

The Department’s objectives are to:

  • Introduce the Universal Credit and other reforms to simplify the welfare system and to ensure that the system always incentivises work and that work always pays. The overall reform package will help to make the welfare system affordable in the longer term;
  • Introduce the Work Programme, an integrated package of personalised support to get people into work - from jobseekers who have been out of work for some time, to those who may have been receiving incapacity benefits for many years;
  • Develop a welfare system that recognises work as the primary route out of poverty and reduces the number of children in workless households. Introduce a new child poverty strategy focused on eradicating child poverty by 2020;
  • Provide decent State Pensions, encourage employers to provide high quality pensions and make automatic enrolment and higher pension saving a reality. Phase out the default retirement age to allow more flexibility around retirement;
  • Improve equality by promoting work for disabled people, developing new ways to deliver Access to Work and introducing Work Choice to provide employment support for disabled people facing the greatest barriers. Support more independent living for those who face the greatest barriers and cannot work;
  • Continue to deliver an excellent service to the public, improving its speed, ease and efficiency.

Universal Credit: Welfare that Works

The White Paper “Universal Credit: welfare that works”, published on 11 November 2010, sets out the Coalition Government’s plans to introduce legislation to reform the welfare system by creating a new Universal Credit. Universal Credit will radically simplify the benefit system to make it a fairer, more affordable and better able to tackle poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency.

Operational Research in the DWP

OR analysts are part of the Analytical Community which also includes economists, statisticians, social researchers and IT specialists. The Department has some 100 OR staff located in central London, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield.

OR analysts give advice to the whole of the DWP, including senior officials and ministers, on operational issues and on policy matters where operational issues are influential. We use our analytical skills and experience to improve decisions about the Department's operations and policy.

Typical work areas are:

  • Business modelling, for example on different ways of delivering service to customers;
  • Design and analysis of complex sample surveys
  • Risk scoring and modelling;
  • Estimating the value of counter-fraud operations;
  • Providing advice on the development and implementation of policies, for example, on the Social Fund, Housing Benefit and methods of payment;
  • Performance measurement and target-setting;
  • Developing resource allocation models;
  • Forecasting and monitoring claims and other workloads
  • Forecasting expenditure;
  • Developing costing models, for example of staff pay;
  • Human resources planning models;
  • Monitoring equal opportunities;
  • Evaluation of pilots;
  • Modelling and evaluation of policy changes;
  • Model simulations;
  • General statistical analysis and sampling advice;
  • Evaluation of business unit performance;
  • Project evaluation.

What You Can Expect from Us

We do interesting work which matters to our customers, staff and the country generally. Social security spending accounts for some £160 billion (around one-quarter of government expenditure).

In additon to this, the Department is committed to developing its staff. Training will be arranged to meet immediate job and project needs alongside arrangements to help meet personal development objectives.