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JSA Skills Training Conditionality Pilot

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) has been asked by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to consider proposals for The Job Seeker’s Allowance (Skills Training Conditionality Pilot) Regulations 2010.

From January 2010, the government is proposing to pilot new regulations for JSA customers within Stage 3 of fND, aged 18 and over, who have a lack of job related skills which are a serious barrier to obtaining sustainable work.  They wish to see whether requiring these customers to take part in training will impact on sustained employment outcomes.   The training must be identified in the customers JCP Action Plan as being required.  It appears that skills training is something that isn’t covered by the existing Jobseeker’s Direction.

Customers would be randomly assigned to a treatment group, who will be referred to full-time or part-time training under prospect of a sanction for non-participation; or a control group, who will be referred to training without prospect of sanction.  Conjours up the image of lab rats ... but we're sure that isn't the intention!

The proposal is for the pilot to last 18 months.  It will run in 11 of the original 12 IES service trial districts which are:


  • Black Country;
  • Staffordshire;
  • The Marches;
  • Coventry and Warwickshire;
  • Birmingham and Solihull;
  • Cambridgeshire & Suffolk;
  • Greater Manchester Central;
  • Greater Manchester East & West;
  • Central London;
  • Lambeth, Southwark & Wandsworth; and
  • Norfolk

The idea of using the IES trial districts is that there should already be improved assessment and support through joined up working, so the environment for this pilot has already been established.

The Social Security Committee would like to hear from organisations and individuals who have views, particularly on the use and impact of benefit sanctions, and the role of mandatory training in supporting benefit claimants into work.

You can find full details of the proposed regulations and consultation process on the SSAC website.  Responses must be in by 3 August 2009.


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