Reforms designed to cut the number of jobless school leavers are failing to prevent more than one million teenagers “falling through the cracks”, according to Ofsted.
The government’s attempts to stop young people claiming out of work benefits are “too narrow” because they focus on 16- to 18-year-olds without properly safeguarding long-term job opportunities.
People working beyond the retirement age are boosting the ranks of the self-employed to its highest rate in 40 years, a labour market expert has said.
In Wales self-employment has risen since the economic downturn from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.1% in 2013. Jamie Jenkins of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of people working for themselves after 65 had doubled in five years, with fewer people leaving self-employment to work for others.
The future strength and stability of the UK economy is "under threat" as there has been a long-term shift towards insecure, low-paying employment in many cities across the country, according to thinktank the Centre for Cities.
A recent report, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, revealed the number of Britons employed in low-pay positions in UK cities jumped by more than 750,000 between 2001 and 2011.
People claiming benefits will be expected to undergo attitude tests to assess if they have a psychological resistance to work under new plans revealed by the employment minister.
Esther McVey said benefit claimants will be profiled to see if they feel “determined”, “bewildered” or “despondent” at the prospect of employment.
Disabled people are more likely to be successful in a claim for the much-criticised employment and support allowance (ESA) than the benefit it is replacing, incapacity benefit (IB), John Ping from the Disability News Service (DNS) reports.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said the number of working days lost due to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24 per cent since 2009, while the number lost due to serious mental illness has doubled. Around 70 million working days were lost to mental illness last year at an “astounding” cost of up to £100 billion to the economy, her report says.
Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs have joined forces to defeat Conservatives in a Commons vote to partly overturn housing benefit changes.
Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs joined to send the affordable homes bill, sponsored by Andrew George MP, through to a second reading vote by 306 to 231. Seventy Conservative MPs ignored a three line whip and stayed away from Westminister. Angie Bray, Tory MP for Ealing Central and Acton, voted against her party.
Iain Duncan Smith has insisted that HM Treasury is due to sign off the full business case for Universal Credit ‘very shortly’ despite it being five months since it was submitted.
In a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, the work and pensions minister explained: “The final stage in Treasury approvals is sign-off of the full business case, which covers the full lifetime of the programme.” adding “I genuinely believe, from my discussions, that it will be signed off very shortly.”