Claimants to ‘work’ for benefits

Chorley Citizen: NEW RULES: Esther McVey NEW RULES: Esther McVey

New rules are coming into force meaning jobseekers will have to do more to find work.

Jobseekers will be asked to take the first basic steps to make themselves employable before meeting with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, and then if necessary meet more regularly with their adviser so they get more support up front.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “With the economy growing, unemployment falling and record numbers of people in work, now is the time to start expecting more of people if they want to claim benefits.

“It’s only right that we should ask people to take the first basic steps to getting a job before they start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – it will show they are taking their search for work seriously.

“This is about treating people like adults and setting out clearly what is expected of them so they can hit the ground running.

“In return, we will give people as much help and support as possible to move off benefits and into work because we know from employers that it’s the people who are prepared and enthusiastic who are most likely to get the job.” To prepare for their first interview with a Jobcentre Plus adviser, jobseekers will be asked to do things like preparing a CV, setting up an email address and registering for the Government’s new jobs website. This change will mean people start their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claim ready to look for work and will show they are serious about finding a job as quickly as possible.

These new measures are being introduced as figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by over 363,000 on the year, which is the largest annual fall since 1998.

The number of young people claiming JSA has been falling for the last 21 months.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the employment rate has hit a five-year high and a record 30.19 million people are now in jobs.

Private sector employment has increased by 1.73 million since 2010.

The latest figures also show the number of job vacancies increased in the last three months by 23,000 to 588,000. The number of people who are unemployed fell by 63,000 in the last three months, with the number of people who have been unemployed for over a year falling by 38,000.

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