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Number of Unversal Credit claimants in Moray rises again

By Alan Beresford

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THERE has been a slight rise in the number of people in Moray claiming Universal Credit (UC), newly published figures have revealed.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP. Picture: mimsdavies.org.uk
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP. Picture: mimsdavies.org.uk

Statistics released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that in June some 6792 people in the region were claiming UC compared to 6733 in May. These figures include those who are claiming the benefit while in work.

The trend is mirrored Scotland-wide where there was an increase from 481,263 to 484,149 over the same time period.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “In the past year we have supported over 14.5 million people across the country through our Plan for Jobs including through the Kickstart Scheme.

"We know that it’s not been possible to save every job, but we have protected as many as we can, whilst helping new jobseekers through our DWP programmes to secure work.

“There is still work to do as today’s figures show, but importantly we’re on the right track and pushing for recovery with a sustained rise in the number of people on payrolls, including 135,000 more young people in work this month, and another rise in vacancies on offer as we continue on the road to recovery."

For more information on UC visit www.gov.uk

The DWP across Moray are offering customers opportunities to re-enter work, or to improve their knowledge and skills through the many programmes and support that the department offers.

Sector Based Work Programmes (SWAPs) have seen the DWP working with local employers and partners to improve the skills and prospects of employment for customers. These programmes allow customers direct insight into what the company does, what working for them can offer, training and work experience.

The DWP currently have a variety of training courses due to start in the next few months including hospitality, traffic management as well as an ongoing Job Entry Targeted Support and Job Finding Support courses to support customers moving closer to the labour market.

Anyone wishing to hear more about how they might participate should speak with their work coach.

The Kickstart support initiative for young people is proving to be popular with smaller employers, who previously felt they could not afford to support or train placement employees. The funding to the minimum wage threshold as well as £1500 for provision of training now makes this more viable.

To date over 80 Kickstart vacancies within Moray have been filled.

The newly opened Moray Pathways @ The Inkwell project will allow a DWP Youth Employability Coach based there to offer tailored support to help customers develop new skills, build confidence, undertake training and find work.

More information for people and business affected by the lockdowns can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions

For the CJRS furlough scheme visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme while information regarding the SEISS initiative for the self-employed is at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support and on the website: www.gov.uk/hmrc

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