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MP’s have been warned that in order to make Universal Credit work, job centres must ensure the correct training of their staff. For those that don’t know, Universal Credit is designed to replace regular benefit and will eventually be given to all of those entitled to benefits. The new payment methods mean recipients will be paid monthly instead of weekly , and because the whole system is new, there will undoubtedly be a lot of questions to go with it. Staff need to be able to answer all of these questions to help people understand everything about their new benefit payments. Several benefit payments will be rolled into one, which in the long run will be less complicated, but in the first instance a lot to deal will as recipients will want to know how much they’re getting and when.
As an aid during the transition, job centre staff will be required to provide one to one coaching even after the individual has found work. There is a bigger element of the job being personal now as staff the individual and unique needs of each claimant. Rather than moving people from unemployed to employed, there will now be a lot more to it. Westminster’s Work and Pension Select committees fear that at the moment not enough is being done to educate staff.
There have been continuous reports warning that the new Universal Credit system is seriously flawed, which will leave over 1 million families thousands of pounds worse off each year. there is also no evidence to suggest that 100,000 disabled children receiving support through Disability Living Allowance will have their benefits halved, leaving people to criticise the ongoing acts from the Tory Government.
This isn’t the first time the Government has called for alterations to the role of a job centre worker. In a plan that has now been dropped due to condemnation from poverty campaigners, Iain Duncan Smith called for job centre advisers to work at food banks, meaning that people who are seeking packages from the food bank can seek advice on where to find work. Charity Child Action Poverty bluntly responded saying that they already have advisers in their food banks – they are needed to deal with the misery caused by the DWP in the first place. The need for food banks is increasingly on the rise in Britain and many are blaming the Tory Government for this anyway, arguing that instead of working within food banks, they should be working on the need to eradicate them entirely.