Fewer new universal credit claims made in Barking and Dagenham between July and August

PUBLISHED: 07:17 18 September 2020 | UPDATED: 07:17 18 September 2020

The latest Universal Credit figures have been released by the DWP. Picture: Chris Young

The latest Universal Credit figures have been released by the DWP. Picture: Chris Young

PA Wire/PA Images

A total of 387 new claims for Universal Credit were made in Barking and Dagenham between July and August, according to the latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

This number, recorded between July 9 and August 13, was lower than the 773 new claims made during the month before (between June and July).

Overall, this means that as of August 13, there were 29,165 claimants in the borough, up from 28,778 recorded on July 9.

With the end of the furlough scheme quickly approaching, Romford-based DWP customer service leader Kay Pegler says it’s “hard to predict” what will happen, but that the department will be as prepared as possible.

One way in which the DWP is readying itself for a potential surge in claims come the end of October is by recruiting for work coaches, with 698 permanent and temporary vacancies for east London scheduled to be advertised imminently.

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Current and former recipients of Universal Credit are encouraged to apply, said Kay, who believes their personal experience will be hugely beneficial to a role specifically designed to support people back into work.

This recruitment drive for work coaches is part of a nationwide effort, with the department set to add another 4,500 coaches (to the existing 13,500) by the end of next month.

The DWP intends to double the total number — to 27,000 — by recruiting a further 9,000 coaches by March 2021.

Employment minister Mims Davies said: “Getting Britain back into work is key to our national recovery and our DWP work coaches are on the front line of this effort. Boosting their numbers means we can build back stronger.

“Our work coaches not only deliver financial support to millions of claimants across the country, but take time to listen, encourage, advise, and ensure everyone has access to the best support available, helping those facing a tough time get back on their feet sooner.”

Job seekers may also wish to visit the @jcpineastlondon Twitter page which, at 11am every Friday, identifies employers recruiting in critical industries across east London.

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