Secretary of State visits Pembrokeshire's Work Programme

Western Telegraph: WORK SCHEME: Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith joined Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb at the Lionà 	¢ÂÂs Den, Haverfordwest with staff and business advisor John Evans.  (3016161) WORK SCHEME: Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith joined Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb at the Lionà ¢ÂÂs Den, Haverfordwest with staff and business advisor John Evans. (3016161)

PEMBROKESHIRE’s participation in the Government’s Work Programme scheme was under the spotlight as the Secretary of State came to visit last week.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, visited Pembrokeshire College to find out how the scheme has been working here to help the long-term unemployed back into work.

Pembrokeshire College is the lead deliverer of the Work Programme across both Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion – and it has been ranked as one of the leading deliverers since it started in 2011 – currently supporting around 1,000 people.

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb helped secure a visit by Mr Duncan Smith to showcase the work that the college’s team has been doing to help support people back into work locally.

Mr Duncan Smith met both staff and customers of the Work Programme, as well as finding out more about the resources on offer and came at the end of a year when unemployment levels have fallen steadily in Preseli Pembrokeshire.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “I was delighted to visit Pembrokeshire College with Stephen and see how the Work Programme is making a real difference to the hardest to help jobseekers.

“It was a pleasure to meet the team and congratulate them for their hard work and dedication.

“The fall in unemployment figures in Preseli Pembrokeshire is extremely positive news, as it is in the rest of the country, and shows just why the Work Programme is so important to the long-term unemployed.”

The two MPs also visited children’s play area, café and nursery the Lion’s Den in Haverfordwest, set up by Hayley Thomas with support from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

She has worked hard to develop the business since it was founded in 2011 and now employs 15 staff members.

Hayley was recently selected to attend a reception at Number 10 to recognise the success stories of the Government’s new scheme and support for businesses.

“I am pleased to have arranged for the Secretary of State to come to Pembrokeshire and see the excellent progress being made in tackling unemployment this year. I have been very impressed with the way that the team at Pembrokeshire College, as local providers of the Work Programme, have been delivering intensive support to the long-term jobless.

“The performance of the Work Programme and our local Job Centre Plus has been very encouraging and it is good that Ian Duncan-Smith has been able to see it firsthand,” added Mr Crabb.

Director of business, development and community services at the college, Dr Geoff Elliott, said: “The success of the Work Programme at the college is testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff who work within this challenging sector. Our results show that the key to tackling long-term unemployment is ensuring that people receive the individual support they need to help them back into sustainable employment.”

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7:15pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Cymru bach says...

Not wishing to take anything away from the good people at Pembrokeshire college, I take it then that Mr Crabb MP did not take the Work and Pensions Minister to see any of his disabled constituents that have been severely affected by his 'bedroom tax'?

It would have been an ideal opportunity to do so, what with him being in the constituency.
Not wishing to take anything away from the good people at Pembrokeshire college, I take it then that Mr Crabb MP did not take the Work and Pensions Minister to see any of his disabled constituents that have been severely affected by his 'bedroom tax'? It would have been an ideal opportunity to do so, what with him being in the constituency. Cymru bach

11:59pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Gordon_Freeman says...

No disrespect to Pembs collage but IDS is a despicable parasite, that aside, well done to all those involved and their hard work.
No disrespect to Pembs collage but IDS is a despicable parasite, that aside, well done to all those involved and their hard work. Gordon_Freeman

10:19am Sat 21 Dec 13

noTORYety says...

Maybe he could have been taken to the Job Centre and asked the staff there about the incentives they are given for sanctioning people off unemployment benefits, about one lady assiduously attending all the required courses and after missing one meeting, because the regular time had changed, finding herself penalised by loss of benefit. Lloyds Bank has been fined £28m for its incentive and rewards driven miselling. Is it any more ethical for the unemployment figures to be massaged in this way? Perhaps our Tory MP could have then visited one of our foodbanks, the inevitable consequence of taking benefits from people even when they have no work, as well as failure to create a decent minimum wage . Someone ask the Tory to inform us -what do Job Centre staff receive for getting someone off JSA?
Maybe he could have been taken to the Job Centre and asked the staff there about the incentives they are given for sanctioning people off unemployment benefits, about one lady assiduously attending all the required courses and after missing one meeting, because the regular time had changed, finding herself penalised by loss of benefit. Lloyds Bank has been fined £28m for its incentive and rewards driven miselling. Is it any more ethical for the unemployment figures to be massaged in this way? Perhaps our Tory MP could have then visited one of our foodbanks, the inevitable consequence of taking benefits from people even when they have no work, as well as failure to create a decent minimum wage . Someone ask the Tory to inform us -what do Job Centre staff receive for getting someone off JSA? noTORYety

10:23am Sat 21 Dec 13

noTORYety says...

Maybe he could have been taken to the Job Centre and asked the staff there about the incentives they are given for sanctioning people off unemployment benefits, about one lady assiduously attending all the required courses and after missing one meeting, because the regular time had changed, finding herself penalised by loss of benefit. Lloyds Bank has been fined £28m for its incentive and rewards driven miselling. Is it any more ethical for the unemployment figures to be massaged in this way? Perhaps our Tory MP could have then visited one of our foodbanks, another IDS achievement, the inevitable consequence of taking benefits from people even when they have no work, as well as failure to create a decent minimum wage . Someone ask the Tory to inform us -what do Job Centre staff receive for getting someone off JSA?
Maybe he could have been taken to the Job Centre and asked the staff there about the incentives they are given for sanctioning people off unemployment benefits, about one lady assiduously attending all the required courses and after missing one meeting, because the regular time had changed, finding herself penalised by loss of benefit. Lloyds Bank has been fined £28m for its incentive and rewards driven miselling. Is it any more ethical for the unemployment figures to be massaged in this way? Perhaps our Tory MP could have then visited one of our foodbanks, another IDS achievement, the inevitable consequence of taking benefits from people even when they have no work, as well as failure to create a decent minimum wage . Someone ask the Tory to inform us -what do Job Centre staff receive for getting someone off JSA? noTORYety

11:14pm Sun 22 Dec 13

malcolm calver says...

So Ian Duncan believes that Pembrokeshire College has become one of the leading providers of delivering support for the long term unemployed in Pembrokeshire with over 1000 being supported.
It would be interesting to see what jobs these people are being supported in and what degree this support has been detrimental to those seeking genuine paid employment.
Pembrokeshire College is always boasting about the number of youngsters it has trained for the workplace but I would love to see how many have secured employment after leaving the college.
In regard to the minimum wage I would suggest that it is not the level of the minimum wage that needs looking at but the amount of deductions from that wage that needs to be reduced.
So Ian Duncan believes that Pembrokeshire College has become one of the leading providers of delivering support for the long term unemployed in Pembrokeshire with over 1000 being supported. It would be interesting to see what jobs these people are being supported in and what degree this support has been detrimental to those seeking genuine paid employment. Pembrokeshire College is always boasting about the number of youngsters it has trained for the workplace but I would love to see how many have secured employment after leaving the college. In regard to the minimum wage I would suggest that it is not the level of the minimum wage that needs looking at but the amount of deductions from that wage that needs to be reduced. malcolm calver

9:36am Wed 25 Dec 13

Justiceforall says...

If the system provided an unconditional payment to all adults of working age, if they were working or not, there would be no need for a benefits system. We could fund this by cancelling all payments to the so called National Debt and using the money to rebuilding a new system free of Usury. This system would Nationalise all utililties and banks, shun consumerism and be run by people with intelligence and experience, unlike our present Governments who are just the tools of the Corporations that control all avenues of our existance.
If the system provided an unconditional payment to all adults of working age, if they were working or not, there would be no need for a benefits system. We could fund this by cancelling all payments to the so called National Debt and using the money to rebuilding a new system free of Usury. This system would Nationalise all utililties and banks, shun consumerism and be run by people with intelligence and experience, unlike our present Governments who are just the tools of the Corporations that control all avenues of our existance. Justiceforall

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