The Department for Work and Pensions is assisting businesses across the country, particularly in Watford, to ensure we fill the vacancies by supporting people back into work. In Watford, the jobcentre is doing sterling work, helping local and national employers to deliver recruitment days, job fairs, sector-based work academies and work trials to help to fill those vacancies.
I once again co-hosted the Watford jobs fair late last year, working with the excellent jobcentre team. We had more than 30 employers in attendance, from KFC to His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, Smyths Toys to Warner Bros. and Hilton Hotels & Resorts to West Herts College. However, a common theme raised with me was the lack of interview attendance by applicants. Will my hon. Friend assure me that activities are under way to ensure that interviews are attended so that we can get people back to work? May I also invite him to visit Watford to see the great work in practice?
What an offer—I would be delighted to visit Watford and to thank the excellent team who work at the Watford jobcentre. In answer to my hon. Friend’s question, yes, claimants are expected to take reasonable steps to move into and progress in work, including attending jobs fairs and interviews with employers.