Learndirect calls for more employer involvement on welfare reform

A training body has called for employers to get more involved with community projects to make sure the government’s welfare reforms work for them.

The government last week closed its consultation on welfare reforms, which include plans to replace incapacity benefit with the more employment-focused Employment and Support Allowance and make those jobless for more than two years work full-time in the community.

The government says the reforms will “transform lives” and help achieve its target of an 80% employment rate.

But Pablo Lloyd, deputy chief executive at training provider Learndirect, said employers needed to become more involved in meetings between job centres and training bodies to ensure their views were heard and people coming off long-term unemployment were given the right skills.

“We find that employers are receptive, but what bothers them most is if people do not have the essential skills for work,” Lloyd said.

“These include basic maths and English, as well as being able to manage a working routine, such as turning up on time.”

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