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IDS Wants To Place JobCentre Advisors At Foodbanks

October 28, 2015

The Government wants to station job centre advisors at food banks to help get hard-pressed families work in a significant extension of the role of charities.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, told MPs that a pilot project in Manchester is to be rolled out across the country as it is proving successful.

The Conservative minister told the work and pensions select committee of MPs he had received “good feedback”.

 

He added: “If this works and other food banks are willing to encompass it, I would want to roll this out across the country.”

Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary at the DWP, said the pilot scheme was initially focussed on helping people struggling to claim benefits they deserved, but advisors were “spending more time pointing people to vacancies”.

The move appears to embed food banks, run by charities, into the welfare state. Critics will also point out many using food banks are already in work, albeit poorly paid.

Mr Duncan Smith questioned Trussell Trust figures that showed a 398% increase in the number of people using their food banks between 2012-14 in Scotland.

While the figures were “genuinely put together” they were “not absolutely clear”, he told the committee.

Ministers have come under fire for the number of hard-pressed families relying on food parcels.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2015 9:37 pm

    “spending more time pointing people to vacancies”.
    They don’t even do this in my Jobcentre.

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