Department for Work and Pensions
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Purnell: Businesses can take advantage of new incentive to recruit more staff

Purnell: Businesses can take advantage of new incentive to recruit more staff

DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS News Release (EMP-082) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 6 April 2009

From today businesses will be able to take advantage of up to £2500 recruitment and 'on the job' training subsidies, as an incentive to take on people who've been looking for work for six months or more. The subsidy is worth £1000 and the company can, depending on location, access up to £1500 worth of in-work training.

The recruitment and training subsidy, or 'golden hello', is part of a package of measures announced by the Prime Minister in January, designed to give even more support to people who've been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for six months.

The other elements of the package include more support for people who want to set up their own business; access to 75,000 new work-focused training opportunities; and the opportunity to do work-focused volunteering.

James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

"The impact of the global recession is being felt here at home, and finding a job is not easy. We are investing £2bn to help people get back into work as quickly as possible.

"Today businesses can take advantage of the new recruitment subsidy, where we will provide up to £2500 as an incentive to take on someone who has been claiming unemployment benefit for six months. This includes a subsidy of £1000 and depending on their location they will also have the opportunity to access up to £1500's worth of in-work training to give that person the right skills for the job.

"This is just part of a range of measures coming in today to give people all the support we can - from CV writing and job searching to skills checks and training opportunities - to make sure that where it happens unemployment is short and people can quickly find their way back to supporting themselves and their families."

John Denham, Secretary of State for Skills, said:

"It's very important that people struggling the most to find work will get extra support to improve their skills to help them gain employment.

"We know that people whose skills are up to date are more likely to find a good job, and that employers with well trained staff do better than those that don't invest in the skills of their workforce.

"That's why we are doing everything we can to boost training opportunities to help people through this tough time and help prepare for the upturn when it comes."

As well as the enhanced offer for jobseekers reaching the six month point, more help available from day one of unemployment also comes on stream today. It includes greater support for job searching, CV writing, help with skills, interview preparation and access to more Local Employment Partnership vacancies.

Notes to editors

1. The enhanced support for people who have been out of work for six months or more which comes on stream today was announced by the PM at the employment summit on 12 January 2009. For more details see: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/mediacentre/pressreleases/2009/jan/emp124-120109.asp

2. Most people are still getting back to work quickly - 75% of people move off Jobseeker's Allowance within six months. But for those who don't an enhanced offer is now available which includes:

* Personalised support from a Jobcentre Plus adviser who will work with customers to identify the steps appropriate to enable a swift return to work;

* A recruitment subsidy, or 'golden hello', for employers worth £2500 - which is made up of a £1000 subsidy plus access to up to £1500 worth of in-work training, dependent on location.

* Support for those who want to become self-employed with advice on creating a business plan and employment credit of £50 per week for up to 16 weeks so that they have financial support during the early days and months of trading;

* Access to 75,000 new work-focussed training opportunities to help customers significantly increase their skills in order to enter work. The training, delivered on a part-time or full-time basis, will allow people to progress to a full qualification if they are in or out of work;

* Work-focused volunteering placements - to help JSA claimants develop or maintain skills whilst looking for a job. Third sector partners in England, Scotland and Wales will broker work-focused volunteering opportunities for JSA claimants interested in volunteering.

3. Jobcentre Plus is offering immediate help to customers who are self motivated and well-placed to find a new job quickly, with support from advisers, Programme Centres (a modern version of 90s "Jobclubs") or specialist organisations used to helping people into professional jobs, including:

* Where and how to look for jobs
* Finding and using employment agencies
* CV, covering letters, speculative applications, getting and using references, completing application forms
* Matching your skills to employers - analysing job adverts and specifications
* preparing for interviews, mock interviews, personal appearance, body language
* How to transfer skills to jobs in different sectors
* Signposting to further support and guidance
* Access to more LEP vacancies.

This builds on the help Jobcentre Plus already provides to everyone who signs on to look for work - including:

* Support to search relevant vacancies
* 1-2-1 help with looking for a job
* Help claiming benefits
* Referrals to other specialist agencies or sources of help, for example for jobs in particular sectors
* Advice and help with training and developing new skills
* At the recent meeting of the National Employment Partnership, 22 major employers and representative groups committed to advertising all their non-specialist vacancies through Jobcentre Plus
* Jobcentre Plus is already working actively with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to open a wide range of opportunities for all customers. Recruitment agencies can offer additional support to Jobcentre Plus' services and help customers search for suitable opportunities by sector and area.
* Train to Gain is the service for employers in England. Employers in England can access training for people they recruit through this offer under normal Train to Gain eligibility rules. The average cost of a qualification through Train to Gain is £1,500. Employers should contact their local college or Business Link on 0845 600 9006 to get advice about training, including eligibility for public funding
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Website: http://www.dwp.gov.uk
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