The coalition agreement published between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats starts to set out policy intent on employment and skills. Notably it states that both parties “agree to end all existing welfare to work programmes and to create a single welfare to work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work”. It goes on to say that Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work will be referred to this newly created welfare to work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case, with JSA claimants aged under 25 being be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months. The coalition will also realign contracts with welfare to work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work, and that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare to work programmes will be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure (the DEL-AME switch principle). Much of this already reflects the Conservative’s previously stated objectives through the Work Programme. There is little in the agreement that gives insight into the joint agenda on vocational skills, with focus instead on schools and higher education. The coalition agreement can be viewed in full on the Conservative’s website on the following link;