DWP: Touchbase – 7 May 2021

Roundup of recent DWP announcements

New 24-hour payment service launched by Child Maintenance Service

A new 24-hour automated service is available for parents and employers to make Child Maintenance and Liability Order Payments over the phone.

This fully automated secure service is free, quick and easy to use at a time that suits our customers or employers, removing the need to speak to us.

Parents calling the Child Maintenance Service on 0800 171 2345 will need their 12-digit customer reference number or Liability Order number, and a valid debit or credit card.

Employers calling 0800 232 1961 will need their Employer Reference Number and PAYE reference, and a valid debit or credit card

The online payment service remains available.

Train and Progress

DWP Train and Progress (TaP) – a new DWP initiative aimed at increasing access to training opportunities for claimants – will see an extension to the length of time people can receive Universal Credit while undertaking work-focused study. The amount of time UC claimants can take part in full-time training will extend to up to 12 weeks, up from the current eight weeks.

This means that millions of jobseekers can now access longer work-related training while in receipt of benefits to boost their chances of finding employment. This change will ensure those receiving UC and in the intensive work search group can take advantage of sector-specific training from digital skills to social care and engineering while receiving the financial support they need.

Specialist job coaches to help young people onto the jobs ladder

Thousands of young people will benefit from six-month intensive employment support packages following DWP recruitment of 150 specialist Youth Employability Coaches across the UK.

Youth Employability Coaches are specially trained to support young jobseekers facing significant barriers to get on the first rung of the jobs ladder, such as those without formal skills or qualifications.

For up to six months, young jobseekers will get intensive support and mentoring. This could include referring them to training, apprenticeship placements, suitable job opportunities, the Sector-based Work Academy Programme and the Kickstart Scheme.

Support will even continue for six weeks after the young person has started work, to make sure they’re given help to settle into the role and find their feet.

Make Things Right – housing campaign

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has launched a campaign to empower social housing residents in England to raise complaints.

Make Things Right will give residents advice about how to raise complaints if they are unhappy with their landlord and struggling to get problems resolved, with clear advice on how to progress issues to the Housing Ombudsman if necessary.

Universal Credit (UC) can include help towards housing costs, while Local Housing Allowance rates have been increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. This applies to all private renters who are new UC claimants, or have an existing UC claim that includes a housing element, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.

Free courses for jobs as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee

As part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, adults in England who are 24 and over and do not yet have A levels or equivalent can now take their first Level 3 qualification for free, building on the offer already available to 19-23 year olds. There are almost 400 free courses available that will help adults gain the skills they need to access opportunities and get a better job, as well as supporting businesses to find or develop talented people of all ages to fill skills gaps.

Universal Credit: Future telephony and digital support offer for 2022

DWP is interested to hear from organisations which would be willing to bid for funding to provide telephony and digital support for people applying for Universal Credit.

A Request for Information (RFI) has been published on GOV.UK to invite feedback from all private and public organisations, including the voluntary, community and enterprise sectors. For more information, please go to GOV.UK to view the view the RFI in full.