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Many people working hard to find jobs may be pushed away from jobs market by proposed Government work schemes

1 Hydref 2013

Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, has warned that new proposals to require people looking for work to attend Jobcentres for five days a week could push them further away from employment.

Gillian Guy said:

“For many people, their caring responsibilities, mobility problems or sky-high transport costs will make it very difficult for them to attend community work or jobcentres every day. Ministers must make clear how they will help parents who are desperate for work to manage extra childcare costs if they are required to go to jobcentres for five days a week.

“Far from helping everyone find work, the new requirements for jobseekers announced today could in some cases make the huge challenge of finding work even harder, by adding greater cost to people who are already facing hard times.

“The overwhelming majority of people out of work are desperate to get back into employment. Despite recent positive economic news, millions are struggling to find work because of the lasting damage of the recession. Any scheme which helps people find work is welcome, but there is a risk that if the new measures are not properly targeted then people who lack literacy or IT skills, or who have health issues, could end up being punished rather than assisted.

“The tougher sanctions regime put in place recently is too often badly and unfairly applied. Many Citizens Advice Bureaux are already helping people who have had the rug pulled from under their feet without fully understanding why. Our Bureaux often have no choice but to refer clients to food banks once their support has been withdrawn. Despite working hard to find a job, the flaws in the system add further barriers to people's chances of getting employment.

"Ministers must ensure that every aspect of our welfare system helps people looking for work get the support and training they need. The new requirements must take into account the specific challenges of each individual's efforts to get into employment. Without targeted, tailored support, many people already working hard to get a job could be pushed further away from employment."

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.