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Join jobs 'boot camp' or lose benefits, warns minister Matthew Hancock

Published 17/08/2015

Matthew Hancock says the measure is part of the Government's goal of ending a
Matthew Hancock says the measure is part of the Government's goal of ending a "welfare culture" in some communities

Jobless young adults will face losing benefits unless they take part in a "boot camp" to get them ready for the world of work, the chairman of a Government taskforce has said.

Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock said the measure was part of the Government's goal of ending a "welfare culture" in some communities.

The chairman of the cross-Government "Earn or Learn" implementation taskforce said he would take a "no excuses" approach.

Under the plans, targeted at people aged 18-21, w ithin the first three weeks of claiming out-of-work benefit people will take up an Intensive Activity Programme (IAP) to help them move off benefits and into sustainable employment.

The programme - labelled a "boot camp" by officials - will take 71 hours over the first three weeks and will see claimants given help with job applications and interview techniques as well as an "extensive" search for vacancies.

A dedicated "work coach" will work with jobseekers and review what was achieved during the initial three-week course, the Cabinet Office said.

The taskforce, which includes Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, will implement measures including the requirement for y oung claimants to take a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or unpaid work experience or face losing benefits.

It will also oversee the creation of three million more apprentices by 2020 and previously announced changes to the welfare system including an end to the automatic entitlement to housing benefit for under-21s.

Mr Hancock said: "We are determined to fulfil our commitments to end the welfare culture that is embedded in some of Britain's most vulnerable communities.

"By working across Government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up three million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations.

"We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential."

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