Community work placements introduced for long term jobless







The long-term unemployed will have to take part in a community work placement of 30 hours a week for up to six months in order to increase their skills and chances of getting a full time job, under government measures that have come into force. The Help to Work programme will also force benefits claimants to visit their Jobcentre Plus adviser every day – rather than the current rules of every two weeks – in order to discuss the jobs they have applied for. Those who fail to participate in the scheme could lose their benefits for a period of time, the government said. Jobcentre advisers will tailor back-to-work plans for individuals according to the particular barriers to work they may have. The new measures will also include intensive coaching. “We are now seeing record numbers of people in jobs and the largest fall in long-term unemployment since 1998,” said work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith. “But there’s always more to do, which is why we are introducing this new scheme to provide additional support to the very small minority of claimants who have been unemployed for a number of years. In this way we will ensure that they too can benefit from the improving jobs market and the growing economy.”