Government claims success

The government claims its Key Worker Living scheme has borne fruit and is helping in the recruitment and retention of teachers, nurses and police.

This is one of the findings of the Key Worker Living Evaluation: Early Findings study published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister last week.

The government also says its programme is seen as offering value for money in providing low risk access to the housing market.

The report’s conclusions are based on an analysis of interviews with employers and other stakeholders.

The report says most employers interviewed think KWL is having a positive impact on their recruitment and retention situation, as well as improving their services in the medium and long terms. It adds the KWL programme is seen as well targeted in terms of both employment sector and geographical coverage.

The initiative is considered to be efficiently administered through the one-stop shop model which itself was built on the experience of delivering the Starter Home Initiative, the predecessor of KWL.

All interviewees consider the programme an improvement on SHI, with the range of products and level of support available seen as being more appropriate.

Early findings of the evaluation identified calls from some employers for the eligibility criteria for Key Worker Living to be extended. This has led to the ODPM widening the range of frontline public sector workers applying for the programme as of April 2006.

Other research published by ODPM provides further evidence of the important role of housing in determining whether key workers stay in London and the South-East, or remain in their professions.

It also trumpets the positive impact of the Starter Home Initiative which it says achieved its aim of helping over 10,000 key workers.

Almost half of key worker purchasers say SHI encouraged them to stay in their jobs.