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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


Work Programme

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.

Phil Harrison

South West Regional External Relations Manager

Regional External Relations Manager’s Message


The Work Programme

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 timetable for procurement
  • of the Work Programme ?
  • The Framework for the Provision of Employment
  • Related Support Services will be in place in
  • November 2011.
  • DWP will be issuing an Invitation to Tender for the
  • Work Programme to the framework suppliers in
  • December 2010.
  • The Work Programme will be implemented
  • nationally by Summer 2011.

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 :



Progress towards Get Britain Working

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:

Work Together-

Launched 4/10/10

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.

Work Experience

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 –

Launched 4/10/10

The aim is that Work Clubs

will provide unemployed

people with a place to meet

and exchange skills, share

experiences, find

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

wider support.

Service Academies

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.


Work Together

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 will Jobcentre Plus contribute to Work
  • Together ?
  • Develop and strengthen local links with voluntary
  • sector organisations
  • • Identify volunteering enablers and source
  • volunteering opportunities
  • • Promote and encourage customers to consider
  • and take up volunteering
  • • Signpost and help customers find opportunities
  • through established local partnerships or through
  • online services
  • •General awareness information will be provided on
  • the Business Link website at:
  • Who is eligible?
  • All people on out of work benefits i.e. Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support and Employment & Support Allowance from
  • the start of their claim.
  • • Customers will continue to receive their benefit entitlement-
  • provided benefit eligibility conditions continue to be met.
  • • Customers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and undertaking
  • volunteering are still expected to be looking for employment
  • and must be available to take up paid work.
  • • Normal benefit rules associated with volunteering will apply.

Work Clubs

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

  • What will Jobcentre Plus contribute to
  • Work Clubs?
  • Jobcentre Plus will engage with a range of
  • stakeholders including voluntary organisations,
  • local authorities, community groups, and local
  • employers amongst others, to find suitable
  • prospective organisers and encourage partnership
  • working to create, develop and deliver Work Clubs
  • • Advice and guidance will be provided via an
  • internet based platform on the Adviser site of
  • the DWP Corporate website.
  • • Promote and encourage customers to consider
  • and participate in additional support through local
  • Work Clubs
  • • Signpost customers to local Work Clubs
  • • Inform Work Clubs of employers in the area
  • prepared to support them with regards to offering
  • sessions/workshops, company tours etc.
  • Who is eligible?
  • Work Clubs are open to all customers receiving Jobseeker’s
  • Allowance, Income Support and Employment Support Allowance.
  • Our key target group are unemployed jobseekers from Day 1
  • of their benefit claim until the point they are required to participate
  • in mandatory provision i.e. Work Programme.
  • Customers will continue to receive their benefit entitlement whilst
  • attending.

If you are interested in running or supporting a Work Club then more information is available here :

Work Clubs


21st Century Welfare

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

Credit model.

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


Incapacity Benefits Reassessment

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


  • What are the expected outcomes once this
  • is rolled out nationally from 2011?
  • Nationally , we expect that :
  • 77% of customers currently receiving IB will be
  • entitled to Employment Support Allowance.
  • With the remaining 23% found Fit for Work when
  • reassessed.
  • Of these customers , we estimate that :
  • 50% will claim Jobseekers Allowance;
  • 20% will claim another benefit and
  • 30% will move off benefit.
  • How will the trial be evaluated ?
  • The purpose of the trial is to test the journey from both a customer
  • and staff perspective and to fully understand customer behaviour.
  • The aim of the trial is to fully evaluate the end to end process for
  • reassessment of IB cases and covers two main areas :
  • Qualitative research to evaluate customer, staff and Health Care
  • Practitioner views, their experiences and reactions to the customer and;
  • Collection of management information for analysis.
  • There will be an evaluation of the trial prior to the launch of
  • national full reassessment in February 2011. Lessons learnt from
  • the trail will be used to review the reassessment process and make
  • appropriate refinements, ensuring that the process is managed as
  • successfully as possible. All IB customer reassessments should be
  • completed by March 2014.

Where can I get further information ?

We have developed information that our

customers and stakeholders can access

direct. This includes a page on:

Directgov :

And information on the DWP Adviser


Further information

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.

DWP website

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