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Touchbase: November Budget Edition
November 9, 2018

In the Budget on 29th October, the Chancellor announced a package of measures worth £4.5 billion to support the safe and secure roll out of Universal Credit.

Key Budget announcements:

  • The Universal Credit Work Allowance will be increased by £1,000 from April 2019. This means that 2.4m households will keep an extra £630 of income each year.
  • Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support will roll on for the first fortnight of a Universal Credit claim, where otherwise they would have stopped. This will be effective from July 2020, and benefit around 1.1 million claimants.
  • Government is extending the 12-month grace period (the period before the Minimum Income Floor applies) to support all gainfully self-employed people. This will be introduced from July 2019 and implemented fully from September 2020.
  • Claimants can repay overpayments and debt more slowly from October 2019 (from 40% of the standard allowance to 30%), and from October 2021 people will have longer to repay advances.
  • In addition, the Budget provides funding for the announcements made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in April and June 2018 to support the roll out of Universal Credit.

The Budget in full Read more

Youth Unemployment Down 50% Since 2010
October 16, 2018

Official figures, released by the Office for National Statistics today, show that youth unemployment has halved since 2010.

The figures also show that the unemployment rate of 4.0% has not been lower since 1975. Real wages are up for the seventh month in a row, rising by 0.7% above inflation and employment remained high at 75.5%, up 0.4% points on the year.


The proportion of young people who are unemployed is at a new record low, as more than 120,000 more young people have a job than in 2010. At the same time, fewer children are now growing up in a home without any adults in work than ever before. There are 637,000 fewer children in this position than in 2010, helping inspire more young people into work themselves. Read more

DWP Touchbase: Issue 129
September 28, 2018

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  •  the Get to Know Your Pension campaign
  •  requests for personal information from third parties
  •  the Find a job service
  •  the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service
  •  changes for carers in Scotland
  •  changes to the Universal Credit live service helpline

Touchbase Issue 129

Parents Urged Not to “Miss Out” on National Insurance Credits
September 6, 2018

Parents and carers should make sure they are getting National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey today urges parents with children under 12 to ensure they receive the valuable National Insurance credits which may improve their State Pension income.

Some parents may inadvertently be missing out on retirement income to which they are entitled, the Secretary of State warned today. To ensure they receive National Insurance credits parents must submit a child benefit claim, even if they opt out of receiving any payments.

Credits can help to fill gaps in National Insurance records, and help people to qualify for some contributory benefits including State Pension.

The full new State Pension is £164.35 per week – or around £8,500 a year – however, the actual amount you get depends on an individual’s National Insurance record.

Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:

I urge everyone to check their eligibility and apply for any credits for which they qualify and are entitled to. Don’t miss out on potentially increased pay-outs from your future state pension.

The State Pension is a foundation for retirement. If you are caring for a child or a relative then you may be eligible for National Insurance credits which will strengthen this foundation.

National Insurance credits aim to ensure that someone’s State Pension is not affected if they are unable to work and pay National Insurance contributions. Read more

DWP Touchbase: Issue 128
August 29, 2018

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  • rough sleeping
  • summer jobs
  • understanding Universal Credit
  • Pension Awareness week
  • an older workers toolkit for employers
  • Child Benefit payments
  • GCSEs
  • government support for savers

Touchbase Newsletter 128

Unemployment Rate Falls to 4%, With Record Low Youth Unemployment
August 15, 2018

As young people in England and Wales await their A-level results on Thursday 16 August, the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full-time education is at a record low of 4.7%.

Meanwhile, there are also a record number of older people in work – over 10.2 million.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey said:

With the unemployment rate falling further to just 4%, and youth unemployment down over 45% since 2010, school leavers this week can look forward to a growing jobs market, improving the prospects for their future careers.

In fact, the UK’s vibrant jobs market is benefiting people across the board. Record rates of ethnic minority people in work also show that more families across our society are benefiting from the security of a job, with wages also on the increase.

We have some of the most creative, innovative and hard-working young people in the world and this summer I’ve been urging them to take on a summer job, gaining ‘soft skills’ – or as I call them, essential skills – for their future careers.

Read more

£1million to Improve Life Skills for Young People in Doncaster
July 25, 2018

A £1 million programme to improve access to sports, arts and culture for 5,000 disadvantaged young people across Doncaster has been launched today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Young people from some of the most deprived parts of the town will have access to free extra-curricular activities and healthy meals over the summer holidays including competitive sport, cooking classes and outdoor pursuits. The programme will help broaden young people’s horizons, giving them the opportunity develop lifelong skills in leadership and teamwork, as well as helping build character, resilience and confidence so they can become successful adults.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds launched the programme of activities, funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme, during a visit to Bentley Youth Centre where he met with the first young people to benefit from the scheme this summer.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

The Opportunity Area programme is about broadening the horizons of young people from disadvantaged areas. I want every young person living in Doncaster to be able to access extra-curricular activities that build the resilience and character they need to fulfill their ambitions, whatever they are.

This investment will help young people in Doncaster learn the skills of leadership and teamwork that are so important later in life, giving them the boost in confidence they need to succeed in education or the world of work.

The funding includes £550,000 to pay for a programme of summer activities in 2018 and 2019, and a £450,000 fund for local voluntary and community groups to support young people in Doncaster develop additional skills through out-of-school activities from September. Read more

Employment Rate at New Record High
July 19, 2018

Official figures, released by the Office for National Statistics on 17th July 2018, report that the overall employment rate is at 75.7%, a new record high.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remains at its lowest since 1975. And, since 2010, the majority of employment growth has been in both full-time and permanent roles.

The women’s employment rate has remained at a joint record high of 71.3%. On top of this, the majority of female employment growth since 2010 has been in higher skilled occupations (74.1%) and the full-time gender pay gap has fallen to a record low of 9.1%.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

The employment rate is now at a record high of 75.7%. With over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010, this government has seen on average 1,000 more people in work each and every day.

Making sure our jobs market works for everyone is at the heart of this department’s work and the modern industrial strategy, and with over 800,000 job vacancies we have a buoyant jobs market with plenty of opportunities available.

The 8-year trend shows the vast majority of roles are in full-time, permanent work that’s higher skilled – which means higher paid too.

Read more

Employment Rate Remains at Record High
June 13, 2018

Britain has a joint record high employment rate of 75.6% with 32.39 million people now in work according to the latest official statistics.

The unemployment rate is now 4.2% – down 0.4% since last year – with the number of people out of work falling by 115,000.

The figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) come as Black, Asian and minority ethnic employment (BAME) is at a record high. The BAME employment gap – the difference between the employment rates of the ethnic minority population and the overall population – is at an all-time low of 10.1% points.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey said: Read more

DWP Touchbase: Issue 127
May 25, 2018

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:

  • a new job finding service
  • new Personal Independence Payment videos
  • the Tell Us Once service
  • a public consultation
  • the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise


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