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Skills Conditionality (Response to Public Consultation)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 29 March 2011

Today my hon. Friend the Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning and I have published a joint response to the public consultation on the implementation of skills conditionality.

The consultation 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. We consulted on the implementation of skills conditionality in order to make it fair, consistent and as administratively straightforward as possible. We are grateful to those who took the time to respond and will be reviewing delivery plans in the light of the comments we have received.

The Government believe 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.

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.

Copies of the consultation response are available on the DWP website at; http://dwp.gov.uk/consultations/.