We’ve launched a new report, together with Young Women’s Trust, to draw attention to the fact that Job centres are already not working well to support young jobseekers. And that continuing to roll out Universal Credit, as it stands, will draw many families - whether in work or out – into a punitive inflexible system that is doing more harm than good. Based on interviews with JobCentre staff, young people and sector professionals its essential reading for those looking to tackle London's youth under employment.

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Working Well - new report from 4in10 and Young Women's Trust

Date Posted: 26 October 2018

Instead of being a centre of support, job centres are increasingly a place of enforcement. Young women have reported being sanctioned for things like missing an appointment because they went into labour and for “not doing enough” to prevent being bullied and stay in a job.

Together, with Young Women's Trust we are also highlighting the lack of time given to identifying and supporting vulnerable clients.

Within as little as 10 minutes, prospective claimants are expected to prove their identity, disclose any issues that might impact on them seeking work, such as caring responsibilities, disabilities and domestic abuse, and agree on a job-seeking plan. Staff members can find it hard to establish a relationship in which claimants feel safe enough to disclose their issues within such a limited time, meaning things get missed. The research shows this can result in a job-seeking plan that the client is unable to carry out, resulting in sanctions that can damage their finances and their mental health.

We would all like to see job centres helping people back onto their feet and into work, and not pushing people further into poverty. Read Working Well and see our recommendations for Work Coaches, Jobcentre Plus, Youth Obligation managers as well as Government to help tackle poverty for low income young londoners.