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YMCA state Jobcentre Plus is 'not fit for purpose'

YMCA state Jobcentre Plus is 'not fit for purpose'

Job centres are failing young people seeking work and need to be radically changed.

YMCA England said a study into the way job centres work with young people uncovered evidence of a “dehumanising and demoralising” employment support service that is damaging young people’s confidence and, in some cases, even setting back their long-term employment prospects.

9/10 young people questioned as part of the study said the support they currently or previously received from their job centre was not helping them find employment.

Young people also said they felt their aspirations were dismissed by staff in favour of pushing them into any form of employment, regardless of how long the placement was and how well suited they were, with the overriding factor being the pressure within centres to meet targets and priorities.

The charity is now calling for:

  • job centres to be overhauled
  • a new "service obligation" to be introduced to match the Youth Obligation
  1. job centres would provide each young person with a single work coach specifically trained to support their needs.
  2. They would also be given the option to participate in relevant training for more than 16 hours a week without losing benefits and the option to access in-work support once they have found employment, among other recommendations

Denise Hatton, chief executive of YMCA England, said: "It is clear from the views expressed in this research that job centres are not fit for purpose and are failing to fulfil one of their two primarily roles, namely to provide young people with effective public employment services."