Jobcentre Plus sign.

Jobcentre staff are to target job seekers in ‘unusual locations’, as part of a new ‘blitz’ against Britain’s unemployed people.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) say an ‘army’ of government ‘jobs experts’ will target unemployed people at a number of locations, in a new bid to ‘support’ them back into work.

Specialist jobcentre staff, known as work coaches, will target unemployed people in places such as children’s centres, youth hubs, homeless shelters, and rural work clubs, ‘to offer targeted support to people who need it most’.

DWP say work coaches have already partnered up with a number of professional football clubs including Arsenal, Everton, and Tottenham Hotspur, with schemes designed to build confidence and new skills to prepare unemployed people for work.

Work coaches are also based in prisons across the UK, where future parolees are encouraged – or perhaps coerced – into signing up to Jobseeker’s Allowance and immediately placed on the government’s controversial Work Programme upon release. A practice critics have described as “exploitative”.

It’s unclear as to whether the DWP plan to adopt a similar approach in other locations. However, it’s highly likely people will at least be offered the option of signing up to the Work Programme as part of this new ‘blitz’ on Britain’s unemployed.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said:

“Our hardworking Jobcentre Plus staff have made a huge contribution to Britain’s jobs success this year. By doing things differently, and getting out to where job seekers are, they’re helping thousands into work every day.

“We have broken record after record in 2014 – with huge falls in youth and long-term unemployment and the highest number of women in work on record.

“This new approach is working. What we can see at the end of the year is that our welfare reforms are ensuring that people have the skills and opportunities to move into work.

“But behind these record figures there are countless stories of individual hard work and determination – stories of people turning their lives around, of families who are now feeling more secure over the Christmas period with a regular wage, and of young people escaping unemployment and building a career.”

The Work Programme, dubbed ‘workfare’ by opponents, has come under heavy criticism for helping only a relatively small number of people into work.

Official figures show less than 22% of 18-24 year-olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) find work lasting at least six months after 12 months on the scheme, falling to 17.6% for over 25’s.

This falls to 10.3% for sick and disabled people newly claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who find work lasting at least three months, with some commentators claiming the combined figure for both new and older claims is just 8%.

A recent survey from the charity Mind revealed how the vast majority of people with mental health problems saw their health worsen while on Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship Work Programme.

More: Work Programme Makes Mental Health Problems Worse, Says Charity

According to government figures, the total percentage of Work Programme participants (from all groups) who find work lasting three/six months after 12 months on the scheme is just 14.7%. The vast majority return to job centres and are possibly recycled back on to the scheme at a later date – a Work Programme merry-go-round.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Work coaches are to be based in Prison. Prisoners will soon find out they are better off in Prison then facing Sanctions and a life of trips to food banks. At least in Prison you get hot meals and a warm place to sleep unlike in the Tory Big society where benefit claimants are stripped of benefits and told to go hungry and cold or humiliate themselves by going to food banks. The Work coaches are anything but coaches they are employees of Private company’s who are run by the political classes donors and their only real purpose is to increase the company profit margin.

  2. This lot are seriously deluded,

    ““We have broken record after record in 2014 – with huge falls in youth
    and long-term unemployment and the highest number of women in work on
    record.”

    They forgot to add a massive creation of low paid go nowhere fast short term agency zero hour contract jobs.Its called taking the piss out of the “Hard working tax payer”.lol

  3. Specialist jobcentre staff, known as work coaches, will target
    unemployed people in places such as children’s centres, youth hubs,
    homeless shelters, and rural work clubs, ‘to offer targeted support to
    people who need it most’. then sanctioned no monies whot whot this corrupt lot were are these jobs you bet you cant find em any isnt about sanctions another blitz on the those who dont need this targeting jeff3

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