Lord Freud has announced eleven new projects to trial ways of helping benefit claimants cope with welfare reforms.
The minister for welfare reform has told the Local Government Association conference in Bournemouth that eleven partnerships between councils and job centres will test different ways of providing support to job seekers under universal credit, reports Inside Housing.
Lord Freud said: “I hope I made clear just how important local services are to universal credit that’s underpinned by the framework we are developing in collaboration with all of you. I’m pleased to announced the next stage of developing support for universal credit, that is the 11 partnerships that be testing how we will deliver these life changing opportunities.”
These eleven projects will test different aspects of help, including setting up mentors, improving access to credit union, data sharing and use of social media.
Lord Freud also defended the timetable for universal credit, which was initially intended to be rolled out by 2017 but will now not be complete until after then.
He said: “Creating a benefit system for the 21st century needs to be done with care and not through a Big Bang approach; we are taking our time with local authorities to make improvements as we go.”
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