Help to Work Scheme: 2 Minute Guide

by , Published: 9 October 2013

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a new scheme for the long term unemployed called Help-to-Work. Here's what you need to know.

Woman Looking At Computer

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to introduce a new initiative to help the long term jobless back into work.

Currently there are three strands of support for the unemployed: standard Jobseeker's Allowance, the Work Programme, and Mandatory Work Activity.

The new Help to Work initiative is set take over from the Mandatory Work Activity scheme from April 2014. So, what will it mean for jobseekers once its rollout is complete?

Work Programme

The government’s existing Work Programme is an overarching policy aimed at getting jobseekers back into work within a 2 year period.

The Work Programme rewards private contractors for placing jobseekers in paid employment, ensuring that JobCentres are not the only resource for training and advice.

In the beginning it is a voluntary scheme offering support, work experience and training to plug any skill gaps identified by your JobCentre adviser.

However, once you've been on Jobseeker's Allowance for 3 months (one year if you're aged over 25) you will automatically be enrolled on the Work Programme. You may also have to join the Work Programme if you receive the Work Related Activity portion of Employment & Support Allowance.

Currently, if you are still on the Work Programme after 2 years you’ll have to attend an assessment interview with Jobcentre Plus to target your job hunting. You may also be moved onto Mandatory Work Activity at this point.

Mandatory Work Activity

Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) is an alternative to the Work Programme scheme; importantly, you cannot be on both at the same time.

Instead JobCentre Plus advisers can refer you onto MWA temporary work placements where they think it appropriate. You must then complete the placement or risk losing your benefits.

Placements last for four weeks and entail up to 30 hours' work, per week. While jobseekers can be sent on multiple placements, they cannot be made to complete more than 6 months' Mandatory Work Activity in total.

The penalties for failing to meet the terms of your placement are 3 months' loss of JSA for a first offence, 6 months for a second breach and 3 years for a third violation.

Placements are sourced and run by external providers, but may involve charity work and work within your local community. Under the scheme, your placement must pay for your reasonable travel, childcare and additional support costs.

The new Help-to-Work scheme

The government’s new Help-to-Work scheme will kick in from April 2014, replacing Mandatory Work Activity. You will be moved onto the scheme after two years on the Work Programme.

Help-to-Work aims to provide full time, unpaid placements for the long term unemployed in which you must work for your benefits or risk being "sanctioned" and losing them.

Unlike MWA which was capped at 6 months, Help-to-Work is indefinite – lasting until you find employment. However you do have some say in your placements, with 3 options available:

  • Unpaid community work placements, such as gardening in public spaces or cooking meals for the elderly
  • Daily appointments at your nearest JobCentre
  • Compulsory training, e.g. to improve your literacy, numeracy, computer skills

If you don't choose one of the options yourself, your JobCentre Plus adviser can choose for you.

The sanctions have been pared down, compared to MWA at least. Under the Help-to-Work scheme you stand to lose four weeks’ worth of Jobseeker’s Allowance the first time you breach the rules of your placement; while second offences could mean you lose 3 months of benefits.

Responses

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This is so inaccurate, both about the provision pre April 28 and the help to work package introduced yesterday. MWA is only used for a small proportion of people, i think you mean MIR, which could have included MWA (for about 0.1% of MIR customers), Also under help to work the adviser decides what package is suitable, in consultation with the claimant. They do not choose which to do.

Note most people on this scheme have been unemployed for over 3 years, and all for at least 2yrs,3months

by mena123, 5 months ago

The real guide:-

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a new scheme for the long term unemployed called Help-to-Work. Here's what you need to know.
Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to introduce a new initiative to help the long term jobless back into work.
Currently there are three strands of support for the unemployed: standard Jobseeker's Allowance, the Work Programme, and Mandatory Intervention Regime.
The new Help to Work initiative is set to provide two additional options for Post Work Programme Support from April 2014. So, what will it mean for jobseekers once its rollout is complete?
Work Programme
The government's existing Work Programme is an overarching policy aimed at getting jobseekers back into work within a 2 year period.
The Work Programme rewards private contractors for placing jobseekers in paid employment, ensuring that JobCentres are not the only resource for training and advice.
Once you've been on Jobseeker's Allowance for 3 months (one year if you're aged over 25) you will automatically be enrolled on the Work Programme. You may also have to join the Work Programme if you receive the Work Related Activity portion of Employment & Support Allowance.
Currently, if you are still on the Work Programme after 2 years you'll end the Work Programme and have to attend an assessment interview with Jobcentre Plus to target your job hunting. You may be moved onto Mandatory Intervention Regime at this point if you have not worked in the previous 6 months.
Mandatory Intervention Regime/ Post Work Programme Support
JobCentre Plus advisers can refer you onto MIR. This should involve targeted job searching, more frequent attendance at jobcentres and the requirement to treat job searching like a full time job, ie 30 hours per week. You are also required to apply for any job you are capable of doing (just like any other jobseeker out of work for more than 3 months). It can also involve mandatory training to improve your skills and move you closer to the labour market.
It can include a period of Mandatory Work Activity* but places are severely limited and targeted at those who would benefit most from recent work activity. MWA is also available for customers from day one of their claim until they enter the Work Programme to provide recent work experience for those who need it.
MWA Placements last for four weeks and entail up to 30 hours' work, per week. The penalties for failing to meet the terms of your placement are 4 weeks loss of JSA for a first offence, and 13 weeks for a second.
Placements are sourced and run by external providers, but may involve charity work and work within your local community. Under the scheme, your placement must pay for your reasonable travel, childcare and additional support costs.
The new Help-to-Work scheme
The government's new Help-to-Work scheme kicked in from April 28th 2014, alongside Mandatory Intervention Regime. You will be moved onto the scheme after two years on the Work Programme.
Help-to-Work aims to aid jobseekers into full time, paid work (for the long term unemployed).
Help-to-Work is indefinite - lasting until you overcome barriers to employment or find employment for 12 weeks or more. However you do not have any say in your placements, but may discuss them with your Work Coach/Adviser, with 3 options available:
• Unpaid community work placements, such as gardening in public spaces or cooking meals for the elderly - lasts 6 months
• Daily appointments at your nearest JobCentre - lasts 3 months
• Mandatory Intervention Regime - working closely with an adviser to move you closer to the labour market and may include compulsory training, e.g. to improve your literacy, numeracy, computer skills, English speaking (ESOL), work skills, interview skills, work trials etc..
Your JobCentre Plus adviser can choose for you within 8 weeks of starting MIR. You will be assigned to either Community Work or Daily Signing or MIR (but only 1 of these). On completion of options 1 or 2 you will return to MIR for the remainder of the 12 months of Post Work Programme Support. . It is anticipated that most Jobseekers will be treated as Job-Ready Business As Usual customers after a total of 12 months on the Help to Work scheme
The sanctions are the same as before for MIR. Under the Help-to-Work scheme you stand to lose four weeks' worth of Jobseeker's Allowance the first time you breach the rules of your placement; while second offences could mean you lose 3 months of benefits.
*All of the people on these schemes will have been out of work for at least 2yrs 3 months (3 years for over 25s) and some for over 20 years. If any of them get work for 12 weeks or more, then have to return to benefits they will be treated as a day 1 claimant, and not subject to any post work programme support packages.
*Note MWA is no longer an option for MIR customers, but is still available for pre-Work Programme customers.

by mena123, 5 months ago

part 2
Help-to-Work is indefinite - lasting until you overcome barriers to employment or find employment for 12 weeks or more. However you do not have any say in your placements, but may discuss them with your Work Coach/Adviser, with 3 options available:
• Unpaid community work placements, such as gardening in public spaces or cooking meals for the elderly - lasts 6 months
• Daily appointments at your nearest JobCentre - lasts 3 months
• Mandatory Intervention Regime - working closely with an adviser to move you closer to the labour market and may include compulsory training, e.g. to improve your literacy, numeracy, computer skills, English speaking (ESOL), work skills, interview skills, work trials etc..
Your JobCentre Plus adviser can choose for you within 8 weeks of starting MIR. You will be assigned to either Community Work or Daily Signing or MIR (but only 1 of these). On completion of options 1 or 2 you will return to MIR for the remainder of the 12 months of Post Work Programme Support. . It is anticipated that most Jobseekers will be treated as Job-Ready Business As Usual customers after a total of 12 months on the Help to Work scheme
The sanctions are the same as before for MIR. Under the Help-to-Work scheme you stand to lose four weeks' worth of Jobseeker's Allowance the first time you breach the rules of your placement; while second offences could mean you lose 3 months of benefits.
*All of the people on these schemes will have been out of work for at least 2yrs 3 months (3 years for over 25s) and some for over 20 years. If any of them get work for 12 weeks or more, then have to return to benefits they will be treated as a day 1 claimant, and not subject to any post work programme support packages.
*Note MWA is no longer an option for MIR customers, but is still available for pre-Work Programme customers.

by mena123, 5 months ago

I am about to come to the end of my work programme. So, does this mean if I sign off for 3 months I can sign onto JSA again as a new claimant? I am over 25.

by snh280, 5 months ago

I have recently placed on the scheme. A worthy charity that provides for the community though the premises have little to do with supporting people back into work as promised by the agents. While awaiting secondary paid to work interviews I am threatened with benefit loss if i do not attend and make coffee and find for myself within the organisation where i might be useful. Not exactly a supporting back to work scheme. The commercial placement company Pinnacle People refused to cover my major (5miles away) essential full travelling costs for me to attend and I am querying why.
The placement letter states I must continue to actively seek employment though I have to pay most of the travel and basic expenses from my benefits. It is very difficult. The 30 hours actually hinders bona fide job seekers that are truly doing everything to find work which often entails having to contact recruitment and employers during the working week.
I wait for further penalties and possible loss of the limited support the JSA grants me and hope my up coming interviews pay off. This after 1240 emails and communications in 6 months.
I can see why so many councils and many mainstream charities have withdrawn their support of what is often described as the slave labour scheme when some of us unemployed look for genuine support for help. Charging and costing me expenses I can ill afford is a big pill to swallow.
Properly managed without private profitable companies holding jobseekers to ransom I can see how it might work. In its present format I can assure all it is a nightmare.

by Seekingsupport, 4 months ago
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