From education to employment

Skills training up 40 per cent on Welfare reforms

The number of benefit claimants training to improve their skills soared by nearly 40 per cent between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 academic years, according to new government figures.

Around 645,800 claimants in England were boosting their skills during the period, supported by government welfare reforms such as business-backed local skills training schemes and mandatory skills referrals by Jobcentre Plus.

“As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, our frontline staff in the 700 job centres up and down the country are working with jobseekers so they have the right skills for their local jobs economy,” said Employment Minister Esther McVey.

“It’s a testament to advisers working together with employers and claimants to boost skills and employability that we’ve seen such large rise in those starting training.”

The figures also show the proportion of Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit spells which involved training was 13.1 per cent over 2012/13, compared with 8.9 per cent in the previous academic year.

Natalie Thornhill

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