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INFORM Welfare Reform in the South West Update 2 – October 2010 . Contents: Work Programme Get Britain Working 21 st Century Welfare Incapacity Benefit Reassessment. Welcome to the second edition of INFORM.
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Welfare Reform in the South West Update 2 – October 2010
Get Britain Working
21st Century Welfare
Incapacity Benefit Reassessment
Welcome to the second edition of INFORM.
The Government’s recent Spending Review announcements confirmed that the Work Programme will go ahead from next year, offering our customers more tailored support .
DWP will continue with the work to support the Government’s Welfare Reforms ambition, which includes the IB/IS Reassessment project and to deliver the new recently announced Universal Credit.
There is lots of further work to do regarding the Universal Credit proposals ,but work is already underway on the development and introduction of the Get Britain Working initiatives (including the Work Programme ) and the IB/IS Reassessment project. Within just a few days of the launch of Work Clubs we have already received confirmed commitments from over 30 organisations in the region and are hoping for more partners & employers to get involved in these new initiatives.
We will continue to keep you updated as and when this work progresses.
South West Regional External Relations Manager
Regional External Relations Manager’s Message
What progress has been made on introducing the Work Programme ?
The Government has confirmed in the recent Spending Review that the Work Programme will go ahead from next year.
It will support a wide range of unemployed customers – from Jobseekers Allowance recipients who have been out
of work for some time, to customers who may have previously been receiving incapacity benefits for many years.
The Work Programme will be delivered through contracted provision with suppliers who will design the support they intend
to deliver and will be paid on the basis of the job outcomes they achieve.
The target for the start of implementation is April 2011, with national coverage by June 2011.
A list of South West organisations who have bid to become part of the Framework for the Provision of Employment
Related Support Services has now been published.
Only organisations who are accepted on to the Framework will be invited to tender for Work Programme contracts .
What is the eligibility criteria for the Work Programme?
Eligibility for the Work Programme has not yet been finalised.
The specification for the Work Programme will not be prescriptive,
thereby leaving maximum flexibility for the bidders to develop innovative
tenders which meet the needs of specific localities.
Bidders will be encouraged to work closely with key partners to fully
understand the local picture and the existing provision so they can
develop good quality proposals.
Any queries from providers regarding the
Work Programme should contact :
Although the Work Programme will provide a central core of support, on it’s own it is not enough. To Get Britain Working
we also need to harness a wide range of talent, ideas and good practice. This requires help of business the public and
voluntary sector and local deliverers of services. With this help we are working to enhance the Jobcentre Plus personalised
support that remains the heart of our commitment to help newer customers in to work. Therefore to complement the Work
Programme a range of additional support is in the process of being developed and introduced:
This will enable every
individual, and particularly
the unemployed, to have
greater opportunities to take
up volunteering whilst they
are looking for work. The
key focus will be to activate
all benefit recipients (JSA,
IS & ESA) by encouraging
and promoting the take up
of volunteering opportunities
in their local communities.
Expected Spring 2011
DWP and JCP colleagues
are working to ensure that
there is support available
to help young people to
develop the skills needed
to secure a sustainable
job by offering young
unemployed people a
period of work experience
Work Clubs –
The aim is that Work Clubs
will provide unemployed
people with a place to meet
and exchange skills, share
opportunities, make contacts
and get support to help them
in their return to work.
Work for Yourself
Expected Spring 2011
DWP want to ensure that there
is a coherent and structured
route for those wanting to start
a business to access the
support they need to succeed.
DWP are exploring whether
some form of financial support
in the early stages of start up
would be appropriate ( New
Enterprise Allowance ) along
with mentoring, and considering
how best to provide access to
Expected Spring 2011
The Coalition: our programme for government document set out the intention to draw upon a range of Service Academies to
offer pre-employment training and work placements for unemployed people. DWP aim to provide support that is flexible and
responsive to meet the skills needs of those seeking work and the requirements of employers.
Post Work Programme Support
A variety of support options will be available to support customers who have completed the Work
Programme to help them optimise their newly found skills and experience.
What is Work Together ?
TheGovernment is keen to ensure that every individual, and particularly unemployed people, have every opportunity to
take up volunteering whilst they are looking for work. Volunteering can have many positive impacts – it can boost
confidence to work, real work experience and the change to develop skills for the work place.
Work Together is a GB wide initiative to help unemployed people interested in volunteering find suitable opportunities.
This will be achieved by encouraging and signposting individuals to volunteering enablers and opportunities.
A key element of Work Together is the use of volunteering enablers to help connect people to opportunities, including:
• Online volunteering databases (Do-it which will be available in England; Volunteer Scotland and Volunteering Wales);
• Volunteer Centres;
• Local Voluntary sector organisations; and
• Organisations who require volunteers.
Work Together was launched on 4th October 2010.
What is a Work Club ?
Work Clubs will be designed and run by organisations / groups who want to help unemployed people in their local
area. The basic concept is that Work Clubs will offer unemployed people with a place to meet to share contacts, networks,
ideas, hints and tips to support each other through the job hunting process.
They could be set up anywhere in the country, but there will be particular focus on supporting the development of
Work Clubs in areas where the unemployment challenge is greatest.
The level of Departmental involvement is still being determined but is likely to vary depending on local management
decisions. Support might include signposting customers to local Work Clubs and advising and assisting those setting
up and running Clubs.
Work Clubs were launched on 4th October 2010
If you are interested in running or supporting a Work Club then more information is available here :
What is Universal Credit ?
The 21st Century Welfare paper launched a public consultation about ideas for improving the working age benefit system.
This consultation ran from 30 July to 1 October.
One of those ideas was Universal Credit, which would incorporate out-of-work benefits, in-work support and appropriate
amounts for housing, disability and families for people of working age. A Universal Credit system would also aim to ensure
that anyone on benefits who starts work will be better off than they would have been on benefits.
The paper also considered other ideas, all of which aimed to improve work incentives, make the system easier to understand
for customers and more efficient to operate for staff. The Secretary of State announced on 5 October that the Universal Credit
proposal was the best way of achieving those aims.
What was the outcome of the consultation ?
Almost 1,200 responses were received during the consultation period including nearly 400 from DWP staff. There was strong
Agreement on the need for a single, simple benefits system that makes work pay, and support in particular for the Universal
The Secretary of State subsequently announced on 5 October that a Universal Credit will be introduced. Further detail
of the Plans will be given in a White Paper, to be published later in the autumn.
Why do benefits need reforming ?
It is widely accepted that the current benefit system is too complex and can trap people into benefit dependency. The
Government believes that it should be a safety net that prevents people suffering hardship during periods when they are unable
to work, and helps them back into employment as soon as possible.
Many customers, staff, and outside organisations have long advocated a more straightforward system that cuts out filling in
unnecessary forms, and eliminates much of the need for customers to provide information which is often duplicated.
When will changes happen ?
Detailed implementation plans are still to be developed, but hoping to begin from 2013
When and where is the trial taking place ?
Since the last edition of Inform the reassessment of incapacity benefits
trial started on the 11th October and is due to finish in January 2011
1700 people currently claiming incapacity benefits in and around Burnley
and Aberdeen will have their benefits reassessed. This is 850 people in
each of the trial areas.
These areas have been selected because they :
- have sufficient number of incapacity benefits customers in order to make
this a viable trial; and
- provide both rural and urban locations to give good cross section of
Where can I get further information ?
We have developed information that our
customers and stakeholders can access
direct. This includes a page on:
Directgov : www.direct.gov.uk/ibchanges
And information on the DWP Adviser
Tell us what you think
If you have any comments regarding this update or indeed would like to raise any issues please contact
Gaynor Clarke on 01823 349514 or
by e mail at :
Please note if you do not wish to receive this update or you would like it forwarded to an alternative address , please let me know.
Useful websites :
Right click on link and select “open hyperlink”
The DWP website contains general information about the government’s welfare reform agenda.
They have now added a link to What's new
Direct Gov website contains information about all
JocentrePlus Services and the changes which will be happening with regards to customers claiming Incapacity Benefit.
If you would like to keep up to date with the development of the Get Britain Working support then please use the following link. Get Britain Working
If you are interested in running or supporting a Work Club or would like more information see Work Clubs
IB/IS Reassessment- contains further information on the
Produced by Jobcentre Plus, Regional External Relations Team South West