Traineeships exempted from 16-hour benefits rule

The government is to allow job seeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants to do more than 16 hours’ study a-week as part of traineeships and keep their benefits.

The ‘16-hour rule’ is being dropped as part of today’s Autumn Statement.

“The government will ensure that the benefit rules do not impede the take-up and effectiveness of traineeships by exempting those undertaking a traineeship from the rule which prevents JSA claimants from doing more than 16 hours of study per week,” it said.

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) called on ministers in August to review how the government’s flagship youth unemployment scheme would affect JSA claimants.

It was concerned that working around the Department for Work and Pensions’ 16-hour rule — which limits the number of hours’ skills provision claimants can do in a week — would be more important than considerations surrounding the needs of learners when courses were designed.

“The rule has long been a source of contention for skills providers and in this instance means that skills elements, including maths and English provision within traineeships, will adversely impact on JSA payments if they exceed this amount per week,” said an AELP spokesperson at the time.

Read more about the Autumn Statement in the next edition of FE Week.