Laura Sharman 20 January 2017

Councils demand 'radical rethink' of job centres

Jobcentres are failing to identify and support half of all unemployed people proving funding should be devolved to local councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said today.

Figures show that half of unemployed people are not claiming benefits or receiving the government support they need to find a job. Those receiving employment support through job centres are also staying on benefits longer, according to official figures.

The LGA have accused Jobcentre Plus of not doing enough to engage with people and failing to find jobs for those they are working with.

The LGA is calling for a ‘radical’ rethink on how job centres work and for employment and skills funding to be devolved to councils to run local schemes.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: 'Job centres need to engage with more unemployed people for a start and then help more claimants move into sustainable employment. This is crucial to boosting local growth. Councils know best how to do this. We know our local economies, we know our local employers and we know our residents and we can bring local services together in a way central government will never be able to.

'It is also difficult currently for a national agency to understand the jobs available in the local economy in the immediate and medium term and the courses available locally to help claimants train for these jobs.'

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