DWP to merge Jobcentre Plus and National Careers Service

New work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall announces overhaul to focus on career advice

New work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall announces overhaul to focus on career advice

The National Careers Service will be merged with job centres across the country in a bid to tackle economic inactivity as part of the government’s back to work plan.

New work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall today set out plans for a national jobs and careers service by merging the two separate public services into one.

Kendall also confirmed one of Labour’s manifesto pledges that 18-to-21-year-olds will be “guaranteed” access to training, an apprenticeship, or support to find work – but details on what will change exactly have not yet been released.

Under the Department for Work and Pensions’ plans, the combination of more than 600 Jobcentre Plus offices in the UK and the National Careers Service will “support those seeking better opportunities with the means to find better paid work”.

The merger appears to be promoting a cultural shift of not just getting those on benefits and unemployed people from long-term sickness into jobs, experts say.

The Department for Education-funded National Careers Service is a free service to anyone that offers advice and guidance on training and careers. Whereas, Jobcentre Plus is a job support service exclusively for benefits claimants and run by DWP.

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute (L&W), said: “I think it [the merger] makes sense, not least as most National Careers Service customers are referred from Jobcentre Plus.”

The merger comes in line with the government’s new target to raise the employment rate to 80 per cent.

Chancellor Rachel Reeves said earlier this week that the government’s main focus was creating “sustained economic growth” through reforming the skills system and tackling economic inactivity.

Achieving the 80 per cent employment rate could boost the economy by £25 billion and save the taxpayer £8 billion per year, according to analysis from the Learning and Work Institute.

Evans said. “To deliver this, the government needs to offer help to everyone who wants to work: today, only 1 in 10 out-of-work disabled people get help to find work each year. There also needs to be better join-up of work, health and skills support, and the government will need to work with employers on how they recruit.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Liz Kendall said: “We’ll create more good jobs, make work pay, transform skills, and overhaul jobcentres, alongside action to tackle the root causes of worklessness including poor physical and mental health.”

‘A good start’

Meanwhile, details on how the government will roll out the “youth guarantee”, which aims to drive down the number of NEETs (not in education, employment or training), are yet to be determined.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of NEETs amongst young people aged 16 to 24 are on the rise.

As of March 2024, an estimated 900,000 young people were classed as NEET, equating to 1 in 8 of all young people in the UK, and up 1.1 percentage points from the previous year.

Evans said L&W had been calling for a youth guarantee since 2018 to apply to 16–24-year-olds but that narrower age cohort “is a good start”.

The application of this guarantee, he added, will need better joined up support and better incentives for apprenticeships for young people in the apprenticeship levy

“I would be measuring the success of the guarantee by a sustained reduction in the proportion of young people NEET in England over time, and also by an increase in the proportion qualified to at least level 3 and in work that pays at least the Living Wage,” Evans said.

Latest education roles from

Learning Mentor – Enhance Curriculum – Full time 40 weeks per year

Learning Mentor – Enhance Curriculum – Full time 40 weeks per year

MidKent College

ESOL Lecturer

ESOL Lecturer

MidKent College

Estates Project Manager

Estates Project Manager

Hull College

Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser

Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser

Barnet and Southgate College

Curriculum Manager – Maths

Curriculum Manager – Maths

Barnet and Southgate College

Head of Langdon College (London)

Head of Langdon College (London)

Kisharon Langdon

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

#GE2024: Listen now as Let’s Go Further outlines the FE and skills priorities facing our new government

The Skills and Education Group podcast, Let’s Go Further, aims to challenge the way we all think about skills...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, colleges and schools can be confident that learners...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Employment, Skills bootcamps

Skills bootcamps can help fill immigration shortages, says DWP

Work and Pensions minister plans to better target short training scheme at high vacancy sectors

Josh Mellor
Employment, Training Providers

DWP’s own research casts doubt on revived training scheme’s success

'There was less evidence that SWAPs moved claimants into employment, despite this being a key intended outcome'

Josh Mellor
Colleges, Employment

Lecturer wins over £50k from large college group for unfair dismissal

New City College bosses would not have fired lecturer if ‘fair procedure’ was followed, judge rules

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Employment

Lecturer wins payout over ‘distressing’ remarks after husband’s death

City College Plymouth appealing judgement over absent legal representative

Anviksha Patel

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. R Doran

    Having worked for the National Careers Service their emphasis was on bums on seats and targets. The level of support after the intial appointment was negligible as the claim from government was two thirds completed with the intial appointment. The programme is wrtten by bean counters without the understanding of why many people are unemployed. And crucially the level of ongoing support needed when someone is applying for different roles.

    OK for those who are capable but hopeless for the lower skilled and literacy challenged which make up a large part of the JC+ customers.