Page 5: ‘You can do it. We can help’
For people wanting to avoid dropping out of the labour market, some times are more risky than others e.g. leaving school, moving areas, being made redundant.The government’s policy is to provide extra support at such times. This support includes:
- Educational maintenance allowances (EMAs) - These encourage 16 and 17 year olds who leave school to continue in further education, thereby improving their employability.
- Jobcentres - A national network provides easy access to information on unfilled vacancies and to advice, counselling and more in-depth help for those who need it.
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Service - The allowance enables unemployed people to continue their search for a job. With the right to an allowance goes the responsibility to look for a suitable job with the help of the Employment Service.
- New Deal programmes- Of the several New Deal programmes, two are aimed at people receiving unemployment benefits. One is for young people aged 18 – 24 who have experienced long term unemployment (at least six months), who no longer feel part of the work scene and whom employers tend to view as unemployable. The other programme is for people aged 25 and over who have been long term unemployed, for two years.
The New Deal for young people offers individually focused help to find work and improve employability for all young people aged 18-24 who have claimed the Jobseekers Allowance for six months or more. The New Deal for people aged 25+ offers help to those over 25 claiming JSA for two years. It is being extended and enhanced from April 2001.
For the over-25s, the most vulnerable are people who face additional obstacles. These include lone parents, disabled people and people aged 50. A number of additional New Deals help support these client groups. The government knows that even the best policies and help packages will not work if people are reluctant to visit the people and places where they can obtain help. The contact points, e.g. Jobcentres, are being upgraded to make them more user-friendly.