New Scheme to Help the Long-term Unemployed Launched

New intensive measures to help the long-term unemployed into work were introduced this week.

The new scheme, Help to Work, will give Jobcentre staff a new range of options to support the hardest to help get off benefits and into work.

Jobcentre advisers will tailor back-to-work plans for individuals according to the particular barriers to work they may have. The new measures include intensive coaching, a requirement to meet with the Jobcentre Plus adviser every day (currently a claimant only needs to attend once every two weeks) , or taking part in a community work placement for up to six  months to build skills.

Help to Work will be mandatory and people who fail to participate could lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for four weeks for a first failure and 13 weeks for a second failure.

Most people move off JSA quickly, with over three in every four ending their claim within six months. Less than three percent of people joining JSA have a claim which lasts for three years.

People at risk of long-term unemployment get two years of help from the Work Programme, which has so far seen around half a million people start jobs since June 2011, with around 250,000 in work for six months or more. But the minority of people who have been on JSA for a long time will now move onto the Help to Work scheme after finishing on the Work Programme .  They will have to take up one of the three different types of intensive support, depending on what is stopping them from finding work.

Jobcentre Plus advisers will work with jobseekers to decide which of the three options would best suit their needs. This will be based on an exit report from their Work Programme provider and discussions with the jobseeker about the particular barriers still stopping them from finding work.