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Unemployed Jobseekers' Allowance claimants could be asked to attend '9 to 5' supervision days

By Uttoxeter Advertiser  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

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UNEMPLOYED Jobseekers' Allowance claimants in Uttoxeter could be asked to attend a ‘9 to 5’ supervision for five days a week while they look for work, as this week a new pilot is being rolled out in the area.

Claimants on Jobseekers’ Allowance in the West Midlands will be notified about the new scheme which will test how intensive 35-hour week job search support can help claimants get a job.

The Department of Work and Pensions is rolling out this pilot scheme to 'test new ways to support claimants who might benefit from intensive supervision'.

Around 64 job centres will take part in the pilot scheme which will see a selection of local jobseekers attend local centres every day for 35 hours a week for three months to get intensive help with things like job searches, covering letters, CV skills and interview techniques.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “Employment is up, unemployment is down and there are more than 650,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time – which is why we want to offer even more support to those claimants who find it particularly difficult to take up the opportunities that are out there.

“It’s right that we ask claimants to do everything they can to look for work in return for their benefits, and this pilot is testing how we provide that extra support to those whose motivation or job hunting skills get in the way of finding a job.

“A life on benefits for those who can work is no longer an option, and as part of the Government’s long-term economic plan, we’re helping those who aspire to the security of a regular wage and the chance to develop a career."

The job search centre will be run by private providers from October and they will be on hand to help people on Jobseeker’s Allowance - some of whom will have been out of work for many years - to look at their job goals, increase their skills, search for jobs, apply for vacancies and help them with interview techniques.

Attendance will be mandatory and people who refuse without good reason risk losing their benefits. Jobcentre advisers will always take into account people’s individual circumstances when referring them on to the scheme – people with caring responsibilities and lone parents, for example, may not be expected to attend for the full 35 hours a week.

If the pilots are a success, they may be rolled out across the country and become part of the package of employment support already available through the network of over 700 Jobcentres across the UK.

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