Department for Work and Pensions
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Amber Rudd hears from jobcentres at the heart of South West communities

A new charity in Taunton is helping vulnerable people build their skills and confidence to help them back into work.

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd recently (Friday 1 March) opened the new Taunton-based community Link Centre.

The centre will work with people who are socially isolated and less likely to access traditional employment services such as jobcentres.

Amber Rudd also visited jobcentres in Taunton and Chippenham, learning about how their work has contributed to the region’s record-breaking employment (79.8%).

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd recently said:

We can be quick to forget the difference having a job makes.

For most people, being in work is good for their mental and physical health and is the best way for them to secure financial stability.

And I know that’s what our dedicated jobcentre staff want to help people achieve – peace of mind and a path to building a fulfilling future.

I want to make sure that everyone who needs jobcentre support knows how to access it, and that they trust us to help them whatever their circumstances.

As well as continuing her fact-finding tour to establish how Universal Credit is working in local communities across the United Kingdom, Amber Rudd heard from staff in Chippenham about how they were helping homeless people access support. And jobcentre workers in Taunton told her about their efforts to encourage employers to be Disability Confident, opening up their jobs to people with disabilities and health conditions.

Since her appointment in November, Amber Rudd has been reviewing the government’s key welfare reform, Universal Credit, which replaces 6 different benefits with one single payment.

Earlier this year, Amber Rudd announced that the government would not extend the 2-child limit on Universal Credit for children born before April 2017, when the policy came into effect, benefiting around 15,000 families.

She also announced changes designed to make Universal Credit fairer, including pilot schemes to provide more frequent payments for new claimants, a new online system for private landlords and a more flexible approach to childcare provisions.

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