Archive for January 26th, 2011

Whats happening elsewhere…..

Drug testing requirements are being imposed on recipients of public assistance. Through the Bill, officials are required to assess the cost and benefits of drug testing welfare recipients, whilst in another Bill there is likely to be drug screening of participants in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW).

Yes this is the US not Blighty!!

A Bill filed, calls on the state’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to review the cost and benefits of drug testing people on the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Another Bill would require local social service departments to screen each participant in the state’s welfare-to-work program to determine if there is probable cause to believe the participants are using illegal drugs. If there is probable cause to suspect drug use, the participant would be subject to a formal substance abuse assessment, which could include drug testing. People who test positive or who refuse to participate in the screening or assessment would be ineligible for TANF payments for a year.

Bills have been introduced in four states — Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oregon
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Official statistics on Employment Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessment have been released by the Department for Work and Pensions.

From October 2008 to May 2010, 39% of new ESA claimants were deemed to be fit to work; a further 39% closed their claim before undergoing the Assessment, or their cases remain under review.

Yesterday, the Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

“It’s unacceptable that so many people have been written off to a lifetime on benefits and these figures show just how vital it is that everyone who has the potential to work receives the right help and support.

“Our new Work Programme will ensure that those found fit for work will get the help and support they need to get a job.

“We are determined to get the medical assessment right and provide the necessary help for those that need it, however these figures show just how many people are found to be fit for work and not entitled to ESA.”

Of the 273, 900 people deemed fit for work between October 2008 and November 2009, 90, 300 appealed against the decision which was overturned in 40% of the cases.

However, Mr Grayling asserted that the government will help the 6% people who cannot for the foreseeable future:

“Those found too sick or disabled to work won’t be expected to and will continue to receive the support they need to lead fulfilling lives.”

Website:  DWP



.. and More….

Kuki Taylor

Research Communications

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The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee have published its report on the Future Jobs Fund (est April 2009). 

The FJF was cancelled by the Coalition Government and will finally end in March 2011. The committee report calls for a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of the FJF and for lessons learned to be taken into account in the Work Programme. Full details are available at:

Full Report

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Grayling and Hayes – Skills are the antidote to the unemployment trap

John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning (BIS), and Chris Grayling, Minister for Employment (DWP), today demonstrated their commitment “to a new approach”, providing the training needed to help unemployed people into work.

BIS and DWP are working closely together to introduce reforms that will free Jobcentre Plus and training providers from unnecessary bureaucracy and centralisation so they can better respond to the needs of their local communities.

This is a fundamental part of the Government’s commitment to support economic growth by supporting employers with the skills they need, and helping people to reduce their reliance on benefits.

John Hayes said: “With the right training and support we believe the unemployed can get the skills they need to get jobs and employers will benefit too.

“Reforming the way the skills and employment and benefit systems interact at a local level is critical to our success. My department is working together with DWP, the JCP and employers to make this happen.

“We will ensure that colleges and training providers have the freedom they need to meet the demands of local businesses, and in turn we expect them to meet the needs of their communities, including people who are unemployed.”

Chris Grayling said: “We are determined to make sure people receive the opportunities, support, training and encouragement to get back into employment and we will be working with employers, training providers, local authorities and the third sector to achieve this.

“Our Work Programme will offer tailored support to the long-term unemployed from this summer delivered by private and voluntary sector providers and more personalised support will be available through Jobcentre Plus.”

Mr Hayes and Mr Grayling are visiting Brighton today, where they will meet staff from Brighton Jobcentre Plus and City College Brighton and Hove to understand their success to date and how this is working on the ground. They will hold a roundtable discussion with local representatives from employers, the Probation Service, learning providers, Next Step careers advice, Local Enterprise Partnership, Jobcentre Plus and the Local Authority to discuss best practice in getting the unemployed and offenders back into work.

This morning they met with directors from the business, skills and employment sectors – including the Federation of Small Businesses, Jobcentre Plus, the CBI, the SFA and the Association of Colleges – to discuss how to form strong working relationships at a local level to improve outcomes for the unemployed, as well as employers.

Skills Funding Agency Chief Executive Geoff Russell said: “Unemployed people deserve our very best collaborative efforts to drive up aspiration and opportunity. In today’s highly competitive economy skills are the passport to ensuring that people find and – most importantly – keep a job.

“Clearly, the Next Step service and training providers have a vital role in supporting the skills needs of both individuals and employers but we must focus on outcomes for real people in real situations if we are to support sustainable, private sector led growth in the economy.”

Darra Singh, Jobcentre Plus Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to ensuring Jobcentre Plus and local training providers can work together to help unemployed people with personalised support into work.

“We are listening to employers, local authorities and charities to find ways to provide the best training and support to help people into work as well as working with other government departments.”


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