Over 1.2 million low-income earners on Universal Credit can now tap into additional support to help secure promotions and higher wages.

help for workers on universal credit
  • DWP ramps up drive to help low earners increase their wages and encourage employers to support career progression.
  • Universal Credit claimants are securing job promotions and better pay after local Jobcentres step in with specialist In Work Progression support.
  • Network of specialist Progression Leads are in place across England, Scotland and Wales who work with local skill providers to develop tailored opportunities.

The support known as the In Work Progression offer has rolled out across all of Great Britain and includes help with CVs and signposting to skills provision.

Work coaches can support in-work claimants to tackle barriers to progression including accessing childcare costs, which as announced last week will now be paid up-front rather than in arrears. They can also help eligible claimants with other expenses such as travel costs through the Flexible Support Fund.

Minister for Employment, Guy Opperman MP said:

In Work Progression is one of this Government’s core priorities. It’s about supporting people in work to raise their incomes, and ultimately becoming financially secure.

Rolling out this voluntary offer nationwide demonstrates our commitment to help even more people take control of their careers and finances, setting them firmly on a pathway to a brighter and more prosperous future.

Work coaches delivering this support to claimants who want to increase their earnings and progress in work will be supported by Progression Leads, of which 37 have been recruited to cover all Jobcentre Districts.

Progression Leads work with local government, employers, and skills providers such as the Federation of Small Businesses and local Chambers of Commerce to identify and develop local progression opportunities. They also work with partners to address local barriers that limit progression, such as childcare and transport.

For example, a holiday park in Scotland has agreed to combine part-time shifts for cleaners and waiting staff which will allow employees to have a full-time job, whilst Whitbread in Dumfries have also followed the same approach, combining part-time roles to increase hours for hospitality focused staff.

From September this year, the Government will start to require that more working people on Universal Credit engage with the In Work Progression offer. This will ensure that around 460,000 working claimants who are in what’s known as the Light Touch group will receive tailored help to progress and increase their earnings.

Further Information

Case study

Sharnette, aged 51 from Rotherham, benefitted from the support provided by the In Work Progression offer. She is a mum of four who was self-employed for over 20 years but found herself out of work due to the pandemic. Following a claim to Universal Credit, she started working for a care home but was open to progression. With thanks to her “unstoppable” work coach, Sharnette is now working full time as an Ambulance Care Assistant for a private ambulance service in Yorkshire and credits the DWP with “allowing me to dream and carry my dream into reality”.

  • Eligible claimants will be contacted via their Universal Credit journal and invited to participate but claimants can also send a journal message requesting support which will be picked up by a work coach.
  • Claimants in the Light Touch and Working Enough regimes are eligible to join the voluntary offer.
  • 460,000 people in the Light Touch group will be in scope for mandatory In Work Progression support from September can already access the offer on a voluntary basis.

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Published 21 March 2023