A new target to move half a million people into jobs by the end of June launches today, under ambitious UK Government plans to turbo-charge our national recovery from Covid-19.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “It’s important that everyone has the opportunity and support to find a good job to help them get on in life.
“That’s why we’re doubling down on our Plan for Jobs with this new campaign to harness the talent of jobseekers and support employers to fill vacancies, find work and create new opportunities.
“Together we will boost this country’s jobs-led recovery.”
As the country moves out of the pandemic, with restrictions lifted and life returning to normal, the ‘Way to Work’ campaign will focus on getting job-ready people off Universal Credit and into work, rapidly filling vacancies which are at a record high.
The number of people unemployed in the North West is at 168,000 with online job adverts rising in the region by 19.2% since Covid-19 began.
Targeted predominantly at those in the intensive work search group on Universal Credit, Way to Work will support people back into work faster than ever before and filling vacancies more quickly.
To support people into work faster those who are capable of work will be expected to search more widely for available jobs from the fourth week of their claim, rather than from three months as is currently the case.
This clearer focus will ensure that, if people are not able to find work in their previous occupation or sector, they are expected to look for work in another sector and this will be part of their requirements for receiving their benefit payment.
For the vast majority of people who are already engaging fully with Jobcentre Plus, this could be the extra support they need to secure a job.
However, for the small minority who do not engage, the sanctions regime will operate as usual.
They will be supported in this with more time spent face to face with a Work Coach to receive better, tailored support.
We know work is the best way for people to get on, to improve their lives and support their families because people are at least £6,000 better off in full time work than on benefits.
Penny Applegate, Acting Senior Partnership Manager for the Greater Manchester District, said: “Our dedicated Work Coaches in the North West are working flat out to help people get back into work as we bounce back from the pandemic.
“We want people to know we’re there for them and that we’re working with employers to identify and help fill their vacancies in all sectors, especially key industries.”
Building on the success of the flagship Kickstart Scheme, DWP will work with a wider range of employers to cement positive relationships and show them the good quality of candidates coming through jobcentres.
This includes through direct engagement with employers across booming sectors like construction, haulage and logistics and social care, and over 350 jobs fairs mobilised across Great Britain in the coming months.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “Helping people get any job now, means they can get a better job and progress into a career.
“Way to Work is a step change in our offer to claimants and employers, making sure our jobcentre network and excellent work coaches can deliver opportunities, jobs and prosperity to all areas of the country.
“As we emerge from COVID, we are going to tackle supply challenges and support the continued economic recovery by getting people into work.
“Our new approach will help claimants get quickly back into the world of work while helping ensure employers get the people they and the economy needs.”
Major employers including Balfour Beatty, Whitbread Group, TalkTalk, Bourne Leisure, Ocado and Kier are already throwing their weight behind the campaign.
Tony Ellender, Head of Professional Development, Balfour Beatty said: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to be working with DWP to promote our wide range of opportunities in construction.”