Jobseekers could lose their benefits if they refuse free training
David Woods, March 30, 2011
Jobseekers will be given training to gain new skills, but will face having their benefits stopped if they refuse the offer of help.
Benefit claimants whose lack of relevant skills is a significant barrier to work will get the support they need to move into work through compulsory training. If they fail to attend or complete the course without good cause, they could lose some or all of their benefits.
Employment minister Chris Grayling (pictured) said: "People who are looking for work but are put at a disadvantage by their lack of skills will be given the training they need to improve their prospects of getting a job.
"We want to give people every opportunity to move closer to employment, but those who refuse the offer of help, fail to attend, or don't finish their course could face sanctions.
"This is part of our new contract with jobseekers - we will give you the right help and support to get you into work and off benefits, but we expect you to play your part."
Skills minister John Hayes added: "Having the right skills can make the crucial difference in helping people to get a job and keep it. Skills providers offer a wide range of high-quality training that can give jobseekers the boost they need. We want to see more people completing their training and taking the first steps on a path to a fulfilling career."
The new rules will apply to people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and those in the Work-Related Activity Group of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) who need extra support and training before they become job ready.
Jobcentre Plus advisers will assess what type of support each person needs, and refer jobseekers who they judge will benefit from help to a skills training provider, including a Further Education College, or a Next Step adviser. Training will include basic skills such as literacy and numeracy, or work-based training for jobseekers who would benefit from more vocational support.