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Gloucestershire Business News

Digital job surgeries launched to get Brits back into work

Jobseekers across Great Britain will benefit from new employment support, helping them build their interview skills, find local vacancies and quickly get back into work.

A new team of 325 job search advisers is now available online or over the phone to support those recently unemployed who already have the skills and experience needed to move into a new career, but might not be sure where to start.

Over the next 12 months, around 160,000 jobseekers will receive digital support and advice as part of a new Job Finding Support (JFS) service in a further boost to the government's Plan for Jobs.

The quick-fire support, which takes place across four one-to-one sessions and aims to be completed in a matter of weeks, offers mock interviews, help to identify transferable skills and advice on how to switch industries, as well as online group sessions to improve job search techniques.

Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: "Job Finding Support will help jobseekers brush up on interview skills and advice, giving them a helping hand to move back into work quickly.

"Our Plan for Jobs is helping us build back better and fairer, getting job support to people who need it right across Britain and levelling up opportunity."

The service is completely voluntary to all jobseekers who have been unemployed for less than 13 weeks and are claiming benefits. Participants are referred to the scheme through their work coach.

This follows the news yesterday that unemployment has hit its highest level for five years.

The figures for people claiming Universal Credit in Gloucestershire in January 2021 are:

• Cheltenham - 9,270 - an increase of 242/ 2.6% on December 2020

• Cotswold - 5,135 - an increase of 5/ 0.01% on December 2020

• Forest of Dean - 6,193 - an increase of 74/ 1.2% on December 2020

• Gloucester - 12,287 - an increase of 132/ 1.2% on December 2020

• Stroud - 7,085 - a reduction of 30/ -0.5% on December 2020

• Tewkesbury - 6,1010 - an increase of 92/ 1.5% on December 2020

Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery, said: "Universal Credit continues to support millions of people during their time of need. It is a vital safety net that has stood up to the challenge of the pandemic, and with thousands of new work coaches we are helping claimants across the country get back on their feet with one-to-one tailored support."

JFS will run in parallel to existing support that is available in jobcentres and will complement the role of work coaches who provide more intensive support for jobseekers, including anyone facing specific difficulties returning to work.

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