Grayling and Hayes – Skills are the antidote to unemployment trap

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

BIS and DWP are working closely together to introduce reforms that will free Jobcentre Plus and training providers from unnecessary bureaucracy…

BIS and DWP are working closely together to introduce reforms that will free Jobcentre Plus and training providers from unnecessary bureaucracy and centralisation so they can better respond to the needs of their local communities.

This is a fundamental part of the Government’s commitment to support economic growth by supporting employers with the skills they need, and helping people to reduce their reliance on benefits.

John Hayes said: “With the right training and support we believe the unemployed can get the skills they need to get jobs and employers will benefit too.

“Reforming the way the skills and employment and benefit systems interact at a local level is critical to our success. My department is working together with DWP, the JCP and employers to make this happen.

“We will ensure that colleges and training providers have the freedom they need to meet the demands of local businesses, and in turn we expect them to meet the needs of their communities, including people who are unemployed.”

Chris Grayling said: “We are determined to make sure people receive the opportunities, support, training and encouragement to get back into employment and we will be working with employers, training providers, local authorities and the third sector to achieve this.

“Our Work Programme will offer tailored support to the long-term unemployed from this summer delivered by private and voluntary sector providers and more personalised support will be available through Jobcentre Plus.”

“People will receive support but they will have to do their bit. When they are offered a training course to boost their employability they will be expected to attend.”

Mr Hayes and Mr Grayling are visiting Brighton today, where they will meet staff from Brighton Jobcentre Plus and City College Brighton and Hove to understand their success to date and how this is working on the ground. They will hold a roundtable discussion with local representatives from employers, the Probation Service, learning providers, Next Step careers advice, Local Enterprise Partnership, Jobcentre Plus and the Local Authority to discuss best practice in getting the unemployed and offenders back into work.

This morning they met with directors from the business, skills and employment sectors - including the Federation of Small Businesses, Jobcentre Plus, the CBI, the SFA and the Association of Colleges - to discuss how to form strong working relationships at a local level to improve outcomes for the unemployed, as well as employers.

Skills Funding Agency Chief Executive Geoff Russell said: “Unemployed people deserve our very best collaborative efforts to drive up aspiration and opportunity. In today’s highly competitive economy skills are the passport to ensuring that people find and - most importantly - keep a job.

“Clearly, the Next Step service and training providers have a vital role in supporting the skills needs of both individuals and employers but we must focus on outcomes for real people in real situations if we are to support sustainable, private sector led growth in the economy.”

Darra Singh, Jobcentre Plus Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to ensuring Jobcentre Plus and local training providers can work together to help unemployed people with personalised support into work.

“We are listening to employers, local authorities and charities to find ways to provide the best training and support to help people into work as well as working with other government departments.”

Notes to editors:

  1. John Hayes and Chris Grayling met with national skills and employment stakeholders at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills at 9am on January 25th 2011. The aim of the meeting was to discuss what opportunities are there to provide better support to unemployed people and employers and what is the national role in making this happen locally? Attendees were: Association of Colleges (AoC) Chief Executive Martin Doel OBE; Association of Learning Providers (ALP) Chief Executive Graham Hoyle OBE; 157 Group Executive Director Lynne Sedgmore CBE; Learning & Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) Chief Executive Rob Wye; TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady; The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) Chief Executive Alan Tuckett OBE; UKCES Assistant Director, Strategy and Performance, Joel Featherman; Skills Funding Agency Chief Executive Geoff Russell; Skills Funding Agency National Director of Employer and Learner Services Verity Bullough; Confederation of British Industry Director of Employment Policy Katja Hall; British Chambers of Commerce Director General David Frost CBE; Federation of Small Businesses policy Chairman Mike Cherry; The Manufacturers’ Organisation Chief Economist Lee Hopley; Local Government Association Programme Director Paul Raynes; Forum of Private Business Chief Executive Phil Orford; British Retail Consortium Director of Business & Regulation Tom Ironside; Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Chief Executive Officer Jackie Orme; Jobcentre Plus Chief Executive Darra Singh.

  2. The roundtable discussion at the Jobcentre Plus in Brighton was held to highlight effective joint working between the Jobcentre Plus and skills organisations in the local area and debate how to further improve the progression from unemployment to skills and employment. Attendees were: Minister for Further Education, Skills & Lifelong Learning John Hayes, Minister for Employment Chris Grayling; Chair of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Coast to Capital John Peel; Principal of Eastleigh College (representing the regional Association of Colleges) Tony Lau-Walker; Amanda Radley from the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust; Brighton & Hove City Council Strategic Director of Place Geoff Raw; Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club Director of Education Alan Sanders; American Express UK Recruitment Consultant Jessica Summerfield; Skills Funding Agency (SFA) South-East Employer Services Director Tony Allen; Sue Ormiston from the SFA South-East; Director of HIT Training Sara Goldie, representing the Association of Learning Providers; Debbie Francis for Adult Careers Service Next Step and Umi Brighton Operations Manager Emma Blakiston.

  3. BIS’ online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as videos and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

  4. For enquiries relating to DWP or jobcentre Plus contact DWP press office on 0203 267 5125 (Out of hours: 07659 108 883) or visit

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Katie Kilgallen Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone 020 7215 1861 Fax