DWP Work Coach scheme and Jobcentre openings to expand as employment ‘prospects’ rise

Universal Credit and other benefits have been a crucial element of keeping people above water as coronavirus hit livelihoods. In a bid to keep up with difficult employment conditions, the DWP launched a Work Coach scheme, which aimed to employ those struggling to find work who, in turn, would go on to help struggling families.

Today, in responding to a query in Parliament, the DWP confirmed work coaches will continue to play an important role going forward.

Simon Jupp, the Conservative MP for East Devon, pushed the DWP on what employment support will be available down the line on May 11.

He said: “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that employment support is accessible in communities throughout the UK.”

Today, Mims Davies, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the DWP, responded with the following: “We want everyone to be able to find a job, progress in work and thrive in the Labour Market, wherever they live.

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Last month, Rishi Sunak also endorsed the scheme and commended work coaches across the UK.

On April 1, the DWP announced it had reached the “milestone” of hiring 13,500 work coaches and Rishi welcomed this news.

The Chancellor said: “I have met many of our incredible Work Coaches this year and seen first-hand the role they play in our Plan for Jobs – helping people back into work right across the country.

“That’s why I am delighted that we have reached this important milestone today – helping more jobseekers find new opportunities, protecting livelihoods, and supporting our economic recovery.”

For those considering applying for a work coach role, they should first check for any vacancies and the DWP has created a dedicated website for doing so.

DWP itself provides the following overview of the role and its importance: “As a Work Coach you hold a vital role in the Department, helping individuals and their families towards financial independence through work and enabling them to claim the support they need as they progress.

“Work Coaches are customer-focused, dedicated individuals and able to deliver exceptional service with empathy and compassion to people who need their support.

“As a Work Coach, you will use sound judgement to help people through some difficult, challenging times in their lives, and your tailored coaching can make a huge difference to their ability to find, stay in, and progress in a job.”

Fortunately, these Work Coaches may be kept plenty busy over the coming months, with recent research from CIPD and Adecco showing all sectors are experiencing a jobs recovery alongside an improvement in pay prospects at the moment.

According to the the latest CIPD/Adecco Labour Market Outlook report’s net employment intentions balance, which measures the difference between the proportion of employers expecting to add jobs and those planning to cut them, outlooks have risen sharply to +27 for the second quarter of 2021, compared with +11 in the first quarter of the year.

The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 UK employers, also offered good news on pay, with basic pay expectations set to increase from one to two percent in the next 12 months.

Gerwyn Davies, a Senior Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, commented on the results: “More jobs and improved pay prospects should give us all reason to cheer, but a solid jobs recovery must be focused on better jobs, not just more jobs.

“To offset the emerging threat of recruitment difficulties, employers should be reviewing not just their recruitment practices, but also the quality of work they offer – such as employment conditions, the possibility of promotion, training opportunities and the right balance of flexibility and security. There’s more to good work than raising wages.”

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