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Visit the job centre everyday or risk losing your benefits, Government tells long-term unemployed

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: April 28, 2014

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary

Comments (30)

Jobseekers who have been unemployed for more than two years will have to visit a job centre every day or risk losing some of their benefits.

The Government’s Help to Work scheme comes into effect today with the aim of helping the long-term unemployed get a job.

People who have been out of work for a long period of time will have to enrol in the initiative or face the prospect of receiving reduced benefits.

Some of those enrolled will be offered work placements in their community while others will be given coaching to try and improve their skillset to make them more employable.

Financial penalties have been put in place for those who do not comply with Help to Work.

The scheme is part of the Government’s ongoing work to make sure benefits are not a “one way street”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said Help to Work will provide jobseekers with the “support and opportunity” they need.

However, Labour believe the Government’s policy ignores the real reasons why people remain unemployed for a long time.

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  • squisher  |  May 03 2014, 9:02AM

    A friend of mine owns a cleaning company. They have loads of people apply and set up interviews and they don't turn up. They take the interview confirmation to the job centre which shows they are actively looking for work so they don't lose their benefits. These long term benefit scroungers know the system. I found the job centre really helpful after being made redundant after 10 years service. They offered free training courses which I booked myself on but I found a job before the first course. It took me 3 weeks not a job I wanted but I needed a job.

    |   -6
  • doozywoozy  |  April 30 2014, 1:40PM

    Here's a few facts:- there are thousands of jobs out there but most unemployed just are too fussy. McDonald's and KFC are always hiring, I agree they are not the most amazing jobs, but a job is a job and both require no skills at all. The job centre don't help you look for work, I quote a job centre employee, "this isn't realky a job centre anymore, its more of a benefit centre." Says it all really. Finding a job these days is very easy and there is no excuse what so ever for anyone to be unemployed on JSA for 2+ years. There are thousands of cleaning jobs, and thousands of jobs that require no skills. I understand some people are genuine when claiming job seekers allowance and those will be the ones that find a job quickly, because they make an effort unlike the rest of the lazy unemployed figures.

    |   -9
  • TIMONLINE2010  |  April 30 2014, 12:02AM

    Whether or not unemployment is inevitable or even desirable, there is no question that there are many many jobs out there that need doing - just take a look at our understaffed public services.

    |   -4
  • raidermanuk  |  April 29 2014, 8:33PM

    2 years unemployed, able to work and claiming? Workfare should be compulsory. You'd be surprised how quickly it would focus their minds on finding alternative work they'd prefer to do.

    |   -6
  • RoadWombat  |  April 29 2014, 4:34PM

    I've just searched ONE job site on the internet and, within 10 miles of Gloucester, found 667 vacancies, many of them requiring no skills whatsoever. If you cannot even get one of those you are a failure. And if you claim that it's not worth taking it because you'd be better off on the dole you are nothing more than a parasite. Grow up, grow some balls and get a freakin' job! I look forward to the red arrows from supporters of the lazy and feckless.

    |   -4
  • daisy_daff  |  April 29 2014, 11:53AM

    This Help to Work scheme is for people who have already been through the two year work program, so what are the private work companies such as G4S, Capita etc been doing? Theyre supposed to give individual tailored support. So these companies are ripping off us tax payers while the unemployed, sick, disabled or whoever else is on benefits gets the blame for just about everything. this scheme means some unemployed have to do this 'voluntary' work, yet its far more hours than convicted criminals get when they do community service. The jobcentre is there now just to get as many people sanctioned as possible, that is its role now, nothing else. The unemployed are being punished, whether they are short or long term unemployed. Still, the brain washed love it, until its their turn!!

    |   6
  • justbecause  |  April 29 2014, 9:18AM

    We are a building contractor, and need labour, but the process of getting through the red tape at the job centre means there are easier ways for us to recruit. Sad really.

    |   2
  • uk_socrates  |  April 29 2014, 4:12AM

    @Socialista, I actually think you make some valid points, I am just not sure that full employment is ever possible. I think there is always going to be a degree of unemployment. As workers can always shop around for better jobs. Also productivity and output are at levels that would shock Karl Marx. I am always open to suggestions about how to fix the economy etc...... but I am not sure there is many to be honest.

    |   1
  • Glos_Lad34  |  April 28 2014, 9:43PM

    How much money do they think unemployed have to go to a job centre everyday?

    |   6
  • socialista  |  April 28 2014, 9:12PM

    uk_socrates, I provided irrefutable evidence that unemployment is DELIBERATE, which you have totally failed to address! From what you write it seems you believe George Osborne when he pledged a commitment to create "full employment"!!! You may remember that the new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said in August 2013 that the bank would hold interest rates at their current very low level until unemployment fell to 7%. People could be forgiven for wondering "what the hell have interest rates got to do with unemployment?" I included the connection in my previous comment (the formatting disappeared when it was posted), here`s a fuller explanation: The only instrument the BoE Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has at its disposal is the interest rate. A higher interest rate will, by degree, reduce the number of new business start-ups, will force more struggling businesses to the wall, and will reduce the number of businesses choosing to borrow for expansion. Additionally, consumers will also have less money to spend on goods & services if more of their earnings go into paying their mortgage & any other variable-rate loans. These factors combine to reduce the demand for labour and, all other things being equal, will lead to higher unemployment and lower wages. This ensures higher profitablility and prevents businesses from striving to increase their profits through price increases (inflation). Other factors also affect the level of unemployment, most obviously at the moment the huge cuts in public spending. But the BoE`s Monetary Policy Committee is only concerned with the inflation target, which is set by the government.

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