Benefit claimants who refuse to take up the offer of a training course could have their benefits stopped, under new plans unveiled today by Employment Minister Chris Grayling and Skills Minister John Hayes.
Under the new proposals, benefit claimants who are required to actively seek, or prepare for work could be mandated onto a training course to help improve their employability as part of their journey back to work. If they refuse they could have their benefits stopped.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:
These proposals are about making sure that people are given the best opportunities, support and encouragement to get back into work.
We will support people but they have to do their bit too, if they are offered a training course to improve their employability they will be expected to attend. This is part of our new contract with jobseekers - the right help and support with a greater expectation to take it.
Skills Minister John Hayes said:
This is an important change, and one which we hope will result in improved participation and completion rates in skills training programmes to get more people into jobs.
We want to work with colleges and training providers to make this process as streamlined as possible. That’s in line with our goal to free skills providers from unnecessary and complex bureaucracy. I would welcome the sector’s views on how best to implement these changes.
Ministers are keen to ensure that jobseekers get the best support possible to get back into employment and believe that improving their skills is one of the key ways to help individuals prepare for and gain work.
The new rules would apply to people claiming Jobseekers Allowance and those in the work-related activity group of Employment Support Allowance who need extra support and training before they become job ready.
Ministers are consulting on the best way to implement these proposals until 3 February 2011 and urge any organisation or individual with an interest in skills support for unemployed people to respond to this consultation.
Note to Editors:
- To view the consultation document and find out how to comment go to http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2010/skills-conditionality.shtml.