The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has hired an additional 10,000 work coaches, who will provide job-seekers with advice around upskilling and finding their next role.
Last year the government set a target of recruiting 13,500 Jobcentre Plus work coaches by the end of March 2021 – taking the work coach workforce to 27,000 – in order to provide career support for those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, as well as those who have been unemployed for longer.
The number of people on company payrolls has fallen by 726,000 over the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics, and the unemployment rate reached a five-year high in December.
The DWP said it was “on track” to keep its pledge of recruiting 13,500 new work coaches by the end of next month.
Work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey, said: “With thousands of new work coaches on our frontline, we have made sure that support is there for every jobseeker – wherever you are in Britain and whatever your circumstances.
“This is part of our plans to build back better and get back on track as we begin to recover from coronavirus.”
The DWP has been creating temporary jobcentres to ensure support is more accessible for those out of work when lockdown restrictions are eased. The work coaches have been providing online support in areas from CV writing to interview techniques while the country remains under lockdown.
The next stage in the government’s Plan for Jobs is expected to be revealed by chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Budget next week. This will include further detail on economic support to protect jobs, the DWP said.
Sunak said: “Work coaches are an important part of our £280bn Plan for Jobs – and throughout the pandemic I’ve witnessed first-hand the key role they play. I’m thrilled to see another 10,000 Work Coaches in jobcentres up and down the country, changing people’s lives for the better.”