Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing for universal credit claimants to undertake courses to reskill.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Evidence suggests that the numbers of people requiring DWP support will increase further over the coming months, particularly as the CJRS winds down. Many of these people will effectively be ‘job ready’ and will not require extensive support from Government to return to work. Our ‘Good Place to Start’ campaign has already gone live, with digital advertising that signposts jobseekers to our job websites.

The Department will now go further and will spend £895 million to double the number of work coaches in Jobcentre Plus before the end of the financial year across Great Britain. Work coaches are at the core of our employment offer and this increase will provide more people with the tailored support they need to move into work. We know some people might require additional support to get back into work, and DWP is launching a “Getting Britain Back into Work” package, which builds on and bolsters the existing support offered by our Jobcentre Plus network. The package includes:

- Kickstart Scheme a £2b fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

- Expanded Youth Offer – increasing the intensive support offered to those 18-24 in the Intensive Work Search group in Universal Credit. Further support will be available through Youth Hubs with specialist Youth Employment Coaches.

- Expansion of the Work and Health Programme – to introduce additional voluntary support for those on benefits in England and Wales that have been unemployed for more than 3 months.

- Flexible Support Fund (FSF) – increase the funding for the FSF by £150m to increase the capacity of the Rapid Response Service (RRS), supporting those facing redundancy.

- Expanding sector based work academies – increase participation in our sector-based work academy programmes, offering training, work experience and a guaranteed interview. We will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers, including in priority sectors such as construction and social care.

- Job finding support service – £40 million to fund additional capacity to introduce an online, one-to-one service to help those who have been recently unemployed.

Taken together, the package will ensure that we can get Britain back into work quickly.

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