Press release

New skills support to lift jobless out of unemployment

Jobseekers to get far more help identifying needs and learning new skills that will help them back to work as part new measures.

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

Jobseekers will be able to get far more help identifying needs and learning new skills that will help them back to work as part new measures unveiled today by John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning (BIS) and Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment (DWP).

Jobseekers will be given greater and better co-ordinated access to careers advice, starting with a pilot programme that will significantly boost the number of careers advisers providing services in Jobcentres and help shape the new National Careers Service, which starts in April 2012.

The pilot programme will give Jobcentre Plus claimants full-time access to careers advice and provide better, more flexible support to help jobseekers gain the skills to get into work. The pilot will take place in 22 Jobcentre Plus locations across the country.

The co-location is part of a wider package of skills support for those looking for work which launched in August. It is designed to provide a more flexible and tailored approach to skills involving Jobcentre Plus, careers advice, colleges and employers. In the past jobseekers tended to be presented with a prescriptive list of skills options that weren’t always necessarily aligned with the demands of the local labour market.

John Hayes said:

We are building a system that will help people acquire the skills they need to get into work and get on with life. Reforming the way that Jobcentre Plus, careers advice, colleges and other training providers and employers interact at a local level is critical to our success.

Giving jobseekers full-time convenient access to a tailored and improved careers advice service will significantly improve their chances of getting into work.

Chris Grayling said:

We want to make sure that we give those looking for work the right skills that mean when we put them in front of an employer they get the job. Too often in the past jobseekers were sent off to do long courses that taught them skills that local employers didn’t value. That’s all changing, we are getting people job ready to take advantage of the opportunities being created across the economy.

The Ministers announced the new skills support offer during a joint visit to the Jobcentre Plus in Peckham and Lambeth College in Brixton.

A roundtable discussion, involving a range of local skills and employment representatives, was held at Peckham Jobcentre Plus to discuss the new measures and how to work together to maximise the benefits. Peckham Jobcentre is one of the trial locations for the pilot programme.

At Lambeth College the Ministers met with unemployed learners who have benefited from training, as well as college staff and Next Step advisers.

Prior to the visit, the Ministers held a Ministerial Forum in central London where they met with representatives from the business, skills and employment sectors - including the Association of Colleges, Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the TUC, Federation of Small Businesses and the Confederation of British Industry. This is the third in a series of meetings to discuss joint working between Jobcentre Plus, skills providers and employers in implementing the new skills offer for the unemployed.

Peter Doble, Acting Principal, Lambeth College, said:

Lambeth College welcomes the launch of the skills offer. The College is very keen to build on our positive and proactive partnerships with Job Centre Plus and Next Step to ensure we equip people in South London with the skills they need to move into sustainable employment.

Gez Carr, Senior Community Regeneration Manager at Mace construction group, said:

As part of our commitment to community regeneration, Mace welcomes any new initiative such as the National Careers Service, that drives workplace opportunities and delivers skills training for those who need it.

Good careers guidance enables individuals to make better choices in learning and development and ensures that jobseekers identify those jobs that are tailored towards their skills. A collaboration between education and employment through a targeted careers service will provide individuals with information in line with the local market and this can only be of benefit to those who use it and their local community.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Government has launched a consultation setting out proposals that will promote high quality teaching and learning for adults, further free colleges to respond more effectively to the needs of their local communities and strengthen the skills system by securing a fairer balance of investment between learners, employers and taxpayers.
  2. The plans outlined in New Challenges, New Chances, published today, represent the next phase of the Government’s plans to implement radical reform of adult learning and skills provision in England. They build on the strong achievements of the past year, with record numbers of apprenticeships and a raft of freedoms for training providers. The consultation documents are available online at
    1. The first phase, the Strategies Skills for Sustainable Growth and Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth, were published on 16 November 2010 and are available at:
Published 7 September 2011