Employers asked what help is most needed to get people back into work

  • Employment Contract
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

With the Government considering a number of welfare-to-work reforms, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) decided to ask employers for their views on what is most needed in order to find, recruit and retain the right people.

It carried out a survey in collaboration with the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and found that providing funding to new recruits to help them to overcome barriers such as transport costs, childcare or the need to buy work clothes was easily the first choice.

It was mentioned by 29% of respondents with support to identify and access skills training in a distant second place with 13%, the same number as supported the option for a service that is open and accessible to all those who want to change jobs as well as those who are out of work.

The results have led the REC and IES to call for a trial to make the existing Flexible Support Fund an entitlement for those returning to work after caring, ill health or having been out of work for more than a year, that travel costs and workwear would be reimbursed where needed.

 

They also want the availability of discretionary support with travel and workwear for anyone moving from benefits to work to be publicised with employers encouraged to promote the possibility to potential candidates.

REC Deputy Chief Executive, Kate Shoesmith, said: “Jobcentre Plus customers need to build their confidence to start a new job and sometimes, that comes from addressing the seemingly small things that can be barriers to work — like how you will get to work or afford the kit you need.”

Employers are clear that the option of a financial boost to help with travel, potential childcare costs and clothes should be more widely available, publicised and easier to claim, she concluded.

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