Jobseekers will be forced to take work in any sector or face swift financial sanctions under a new crackdown.
The Way to Work inititaive, says the Government,will support people back into work faster than ever before and filling vacancies more quickly.
Latest figures from the ONS show that the demand for workers is there, with a record 1.2 million vacancies to fill, 59% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Claimants will be given just four weeks – down from three months – to find a job within their preferred sector.
After that, if they fail to make “reasonable efforts” to secure a job or if they turn down any offer, they will have part of their universal credit payment withdrawn.
Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:
“Helping people get any job now, means they can get a better job and progress into a career.Way to Work is a step change in our offer to claimants and employers, making sure our jobcentre network and excellent Work Coaches can deliver opportunities, jobs and prosperity to all areas of the country.
As we emerge from COVID, we are going to tackle supply challenges and support the continued economic recovery by getting people into work. Our new approach will help claimants get quickly back into the world of work while helping ensure employers get the people they and the economy needs.”