JobCentre work coaches 'continue to make a difference'

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This week’s employment statistics highlight the great work being done by Work Coaches across Northamptonshire, the DWP says. A particular success is the 50 Plus age group in Kettering and also Daventry where there is a reduction of around 5% of people who are aged 50 plus claiming benefits.

Across Northamptonshire Jobcentres, our work coaches are working hard to help employers fill their vacancies and support people, whatever their situation, into their jobs.

Julie Pritchard of the Employer and Partnership team in Northamptonshire said: “Jobcentre work coaches play an increasingly important role by supporting businesses fill their vacancies, so helping grow the economy. Helping more people get ready to enter the jobs market by providing every jobseeker with the support that suits their individual needs is a vital part of this.

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All 5 of our Northamptonshire Jobcentres are holding regular jobs fairs and events to support people into employment.

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Just a few examples of these are:

Northampton, where there is a recruitment event at The Old Savoy, NN1 4AE on Wednesday 20th March 2024 from 10am to 12pm

Daventry - A pilot outreach event in the most rural areas of the Daventry area is due to take place at Long Buckby Library hub on Thursday 15th March. Providers offering free employability, CV workshops, childcare choices advice, benefit advice, social prescribing and budgeting courses will be in attendance.

Our message is that work coaches are there to help people to make a positive difference to their lives as showcased in the following example where our Work and Health programme has helped this Wellingborough customer:

Wellingborough good news story.

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A customer with severe anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, night terrors and depression made a claim in November to Universal Credit in 2019, shortly after this, the UK went into lockdown.

When the job centre re-opened after the pandemic our customer’s anxiety was worst, they would attend with a friend and be in tears outside the door, frightened to come in. The work coach built a good rapport with them putting them at ease during appointments.

They started to apply for a few vacancies and attended an interview but was unsuccessful.

In October 2023, the work coach discussed further support from the work and Health programme. Customer was somewhat sceptical, however was reassured by our disability employment adviser, that there would be tailored support, and they agreed to take part.

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The Employment and Disability Service (EADS) supported our customer with overcoming their anxiety, which was stopping them from moving forwards. They referred her to their Health & Wellbeing team for a detailed health assessment report.

As a result, our customer received self-help techniques which reduced their anxiety. EADS then helped them to update their CV and create a tailored cover letter and supported them with an application for their chosen job role. When an interview was offered, they carried out a mock interview session to ensure she was fully prepared.

Our customer was successful, in their job interview and was extremely grateful for the support they received, they sent a very happy journal message to advise that they were starting work as a lunchtime supervisor at a local school in Wellingborough. The collaborative approach taken by the work coach, DEA and provider have truly helped to change this customers life, build their confidence, and move them into sustainable, appropriate work.

Julie Pritchard goes on to say: “Importantly for those on Universal Credit people keep more of what they earn, while parents can receive increased childcare payments. Also, jobseekers can search our DWP ‘FindaJob’ website, to check out the thousands of jobs on offer.”

Regional Key message for East Midlands

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The number of people employed is at 2.359 million – down 19,000 on the quarter and down 16,000 on the year.

The employment rate (aged 16-64) is at 73.7% - down 0.6%pts on the quarter and down 0.8%pts on the year.

The number of people unemployed is at 127,000 – up 8,000 on the quarter and up 41,000 on the year.

The unemployment rate is at 5.1%, up 0.3%pts on the quarter and up 1.6%pts on the year.

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The number of people in workless households has fallen since April to June 2010 by 133,000.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP said: Our plan for the economy is working. Employment is up on the year, the number of people on payrolls is at a record high, and inactivity is falling.

“But our work is not done. Our Back to Work Plan will help a million people to find, stay and succeed in employment. With the next generation of welfare reforms, we’re reducing the number of people on the highest tier of incapacity benefits by 371,000 – people who will now receive support back into work.

“And with the tax cuts announced in last week’s Budget we will boost the labour force by the equivalent of 200,000 workers, while putting £900 back into the pockets of 27 million hardworking people.”