Jobseekers to get mandatory skills training
A body representing learning providers has welcomed the government's plans to implement skills conditionality on job seekers.
Employment minister Chris Grayling MP has proposed that claimants could be mandated to undertake activity to address an identified skills need, putting this on the same basis as other conditionality requirements.
"The government believes it is right that claimants who are able to look for work should be required to do so as a condition of receiving benefit. Getting the right skills is one way of preparing for work and failure to meet those responsibilities should result in a financial sanction," said Grayling.
A spokesman for the Association of Learning Providers told ePolitix.com:
"As long advocates of more integrated employment and skills provision, we support skills conditionality in principle, but we believe that mandatory referral and attendance by a claimant should not be confused with a mandate on the provider to accept the individual.
"It is important too that the individual should have some degree of choice regarding the type of provision they attend."
Skills conditionality will be introduced in England from August 2011 and will apply to those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and in the work-related activity group on Employment and Support Allowance who are referred to training by a Jobcentre Plus adviser.