Man in a job interview

Job seekers could face Universal Credit cut

Changes to Universal Credit mean we may have to take a job that doesn’t match our skills – or risk losing cash.

At the moment, if we’re claiming Universal Credit and looking for a job we have 12 weeks to find one in our chosen sector.

But the change means the government has cut this down to four weeks before we lose benefits.

It’s a new scheme called ‘Way to Work’. It’s aimed at getting those of us who are ready to work into one of the 1.2 million vacancies across the country.

It means that from the fourth week of our UC claim we’ll have to search the job boards more widely. And if we don’t there could be sanctions.

But the government has promised to give us more time with our Work Coach.

Editor of Quids in! Jeff Mitchell is an expert at helping people find work and getting on in their careers.

He thinks forcing jobseekers into positions they’re not interested in is bad for them and for employers.

“We ask people to be inspired and motivated by the right job goals, not any job at any cost,” he says.

But the rule change means we might end up having to take a job that’s not our first choice. If that happens, it’s worth remembering that any new skills and contacts could come in handy in future.

And employers in our preferred sector will still be interested in anything we’ve learned in other areas. Being in work can boost our mental health and social life too, even if it’s not our perfect job.

To find out if we’re ready to move into employment, we can take this quick job-ready quiz.

Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels

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