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DIUS and the Department for Work and Pensions join forces to launch programme

A new programme to help people improve their skills, find a job and progress at work waslaunched by Minister for Employment Caroline Flint and Minister for Skills David Lammy yesterday. The Employability Skills programme is an initiative jointly developed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Innovation,Universities and Skills (DIUS), Jobcentre Plus and the Learning and SkillsCouncil (LSC).

The programme has been developed especially to meet the needs of JobcentrePlus customers and includes a provision leading to an Employability Award that is based on the skills, behaviours and attitudes that employers want to see in someone they recruit. Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, Caroline Flint, said: “Our recent Green Paper In Work, Better Off set out the next steps for reaching full employment. To achieve this we need Jobcentre Plus customers to have access to the right skills training to fill over 640,000 vacancies across the country.

“The employability skills programme will ensure training where necessary innumeracy, literacy and language skills to help them find a job and thenfurther training to help keep people in employment once they are working.”

Minister for Skills, David Lammy, said: “It is important that low-skilled unemployed people have access to flexibletraining which gives them the skills that employers value, to help them getjobs and progress in work. The Employability Skills programme will provide this access and will be hugely important for people trapped by a lack of skills between dead-end jobs and periods of unemployment. By assessing peoples needs based on their skills levels they can be given structured learning programmes tailored to their needs that help them secure sustainable employment.”

The Employability Skills programme offers a package of learning leading to both basic skills and employability qualifications. The programme aims to help Jobcentre Plus customers:

* Enhance their employability skills

* Improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills

* Secure and sustain employment

* Ensure that their learning journey continues and is supported once they gain employment.

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