The government has launched a new commitment to participants in welfare-to-work programmes, setting out what jobseekers can expect and what is expected of them in return.
The initiative, called ‘Our Shared Promise on Customer Care’, includes commitments from providers to:
- Listen to customers and provide support based on each customer’s circumstances and needs
- Help customers identify and make the most of their strengths
- Make the best use of customers’ time, taking account of personal circumstances and by being clear when things need to happen.
In return, jobseekers are asked to take responsibility for preparing for and searching for work, helping providers to understand what is important to them and the help they need and fulfilling their responsibilities under the benefits system.
The promise was developed by ERSA, the representative body for independent providers of publicly-funded welfare-to-work programmes, and is supported by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Amanda McIntyre, ERSA director, said: “Our Shared Promise sets out a consistent message on good customer care, reflecting what customers can expect and what is expected of them in return.
“We believe that customers need this clarity as back-to-work support becomes more flexible and tailored to meet each customer’s circumstances and needs.”
Susan Anderson, director of public services at the CBI, said the customer promise would help to establish clear standards on customer care in the employment service sector.
“It articulates what customers have a right to expect from employment service providers, as well as the customer’s responsibilities and how they can make the most of the support they receive,” she saidd.