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Universal Credit: Training

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL977, tabled on 9 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that all individuals on Universal Credit are able to participate in learning and training courses.

Answered on

23 June 2021

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) recognises that claimants may need to retrain or upskill to meet the changing needs of the labour market. The Department is continuing to implement the Plan for Jobs, which is focused on providing a skills and employment offer, allowing people to adapt and pivot into the job roles that employers need to fill.

Our extensive Work Coach network engages with claimants on the basis of their individual need to support access to a comprehensive range of skills support, which includes: Apprenticeships, vocational and basic skills training, careers advice and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs).

The Department has recently launched the DWP Train and Progress initiative with the aim of improving alignment between our Government’s employment and skills support offer for Universal Credit (UC) claimants.

This initiative builds more flexibility into the UC system for claimants to participate in longer spells of full time, work-related training where that is required. Our aim is to ensure people gain the skills and qualifications needed to progress into work and onto better-paid work.

As a key part of DWP Train and Progress we have enhanced the links between Jobcentres and the careers services to support skills triage, signposting to career conversations with all claimants, particularly the most disadvantaged, building on existing ways of joint working.

DWP’s Train and Progress campaign, to better align the employment and skills support offer, has been further enhanced by an increase in the amount of time UC claimants can take part in full-time training to 12 weeks - up from the current 8 weeks - helping them gain the skills and qualifications needed for good jobs. UC claimants will be able to train full time for up to 16 weeks in areas where Skills Boot camps exist.