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Skills Conditionality: Public Consultation

Volume 520: debated on Thursday 9 December 2010

Today my hon. Friend the Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning and I have published a joint document setting out how we intend to implement skills conditionality when certain benefit claimants are referred to training as part of their journey back to work.

The Government believe that individuals who are able to look for or prepare for work should be required to do so as a condition of receiving benefit, and those who fail to meet their responsibilities should face a financial sanction. Improving someone’s skills is one of the key ways to help individuals prepare for and gain work.

This consultation proposes that claimants required to either actively seek, or prepare for, work could be mandated to undertake activity to address an identified skills need which will aid their movement into work. This puts activity to address a skills need on to the same basis as other conditionality requirements.

The proposed policy will require legislative changes. The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the implementation of skills conditionality that will make it fair, consistent and as administratively straightforward as possible. The consultation will run until 3 February.

Copies of the consultation document are available on the Department’s website at: http://dwp.gov.uk/consultations/.