DWP: Touchbase – 2 October 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

Expansion of education and training to all over 18s

This week the Prime Minister announced a major expansion of post-18 education and training to prepare workers for the post-COVID economy.

This includes a Lifetime Skills Guarantee to give adults the chance to take free college courses valued by employers. It also includes a new entitlement to flexible loans to allow courses to be taken in segments, boosting opportunities to retrain and enhancing the nation’s technical skills.

Find out more

The Skills Toolkit, which provides free courses to help people learn new skills or get a new job, has also been expanded to more than 70 courses in digital, numeracy and employability or work-readiness courses.

Video Relay Service for Pension Credit and Social Fund

Video Relay Service (VRS) has been extended and is now available for people claiming Pension Credit and those seeking support from Social Fund.

This service allows customers to make an inbound call to DWP via a British Sign Language interpreter using a video connection. There is no need for anyone to be in the same location and customers do not have to book the service in advance.

Warm Home Discount Scheme goes live for winter 2020/21

The Warm Home Discount is a government scheme that obligates the UK’s largest energy suppliers to credit £140 discount onto the electricity bills of certain low income households.

Customers who get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit will receive a letter by mid-December advising whether the discount will be paid automatically by their energy supplier, or if they need to contact the helpline.

The helpline opens on 12 October 2020 (Tel: 0800 731 0214) and people will need to confirm their eligibility before 26 February 2021.

A limited number of discounts are also available to other low income households. Non Pension Credit customers should contact their energy supplier for further information.

Find out more

Self-isolation campaign

To support last week’s announcement that people across England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, the Department for Health and Social Care has produced a communications toolkit with key messages, a Q&A and social media assets.

Please share this information with your membership and audiences.

UK Transition business webinars

The UK has left the EU and is leaving the EU single market and customs union. The end of the transition period means businesses should take action now to prepare for guaranteed changes and new rules from January 2021.

Join a free webinar in October to understand the actions that businesses need to take before the end of the year. Sign-up to attend here