‘Fragmented and outdated’ welfare systems should be torn up – tech firm

A tech boss has called for a shake-up of the UK’s welfare systems (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A tech boss has called for a shake-up of the UK’s welfare systems (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Government and big businesses should tear up the “fragmented, outdated and siloed” models involved in the current welfare system, according to bosses at We Are Digital.

The welfare technology business has formed an “impact council” including executives from Virgin Money, Lloyds Banking Group and NHS, to seek improvements to the current systems.

The body includes more than 40 senior executives and academics.

We Are Digital said the council is seeking to improve how people in need can access debt advice, housing assistance, or learn online skills.

The company claimed that the current system is costing “millions” more than needed, suggesting that the current system needs to become more streamlined, with services coming “under one roof”.

Matthew Adam, founder and CEO of We Are Digital, said: “This is not something that everyone wants to hear, but the system designed to help people in need is itself in need of critical help, and that means modernisation and disruption.

“The lack of a joined-up service means that not only are people losing out, but this outdated and siloed system is costing millions of pounds more than it should.

“The system is fragmented, but it can be saved if everyone is committed to it.”

We Are Digital recently received 6.6 million dollars (£5.2 million) in funding from private equity fund Impact Partners.

Mark Thompson, chair of the council, said: “This is not a comfortable conversation to have, but it needs to be had, and we have to design it together.

“The Impact Council is for exactly this reason. Those in need are not being supported in the way anyone would like.

“The We Are Digital model has shown that millions of pounds can be saved at the same time as driving better outcomes for those most in need, but it does require the support of those that want to change the status quo.”