Jobcentre Plus is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and plays an important role in processing the benefits of claimants as well as acting as a gateway for jobseekers to access employment support.
Most jobseekers are able to find a job with limited help from the Government with around half signing off out-of-work benefits within the first three months of a claim. For jobseekers that need additional help, Jobcentre Plus offers a flexible menu of back to work support through helping to facilitate work experience placements, volunteering opportunities and access to peer-to-peer networks such as Work Clubs.
Jobcentre Plus refers jobseekers who are already or who are at risk of becoming long term unemployed to contracted out providers from the private and voluntary sectors who can provide more intensive and tailored employment support. The mainstream contracted out employment programme that provides support to those at risk of becoming long term unemployed is the Work Programme. There are a range of other programmes, including Work Choice, which caters for people with disabilities.
ERSA works in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to help ensure a joined-up service is delivered to jobseekers. ERSA wishes to ensure that Jobcentre Plus staff have the training and assessment tools they need to ensure they can effectively identify a jobseeker at risk of becoming long term unemployed and make an appropriate referral to tailored employment support.