Incentives to Look for Work

Ways and Means – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 29th November 1994.

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I need to match these incentives to employers with measures to ensure that people get the rewards to which they are entitled when they move from unemployment into work.
First, we need to ensure that people are kept in touch with the labour market and do not stay on benefit unnecessarily. The job seeker's allowance will reinforce the link between claiming benefit and looking for work. It will be supported by an unprecedented range of measures to help the unemployed.
One of our existing measures, Community Action, was due to finish next year. My right honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Employment has decided to extend the scheme in revised form. It will provide work experience and a route back to jobs for around 40,000 long-term unemployed people each year.
We introduced Restart when I was Minister of Employment in 1986. That required people who had been on benefit for a long time to come in for an interview and advice to help to get back into work. It gave positive help to many people and got many back into work. It also revealed that some could not be bothered to come for the interview. They lost benefit.
For young unemployed people, we have been experimenting with similar schemes called Workwise and 1–2–1. We propose to extend them nationwide.