The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt.Hon Mel Stride MP, was welcomed to Arnold on Friday 20th October by Gedling’s Conservative Member of Parliament Tom Randall MP. The pair met with staff from Jigsaw Homes Midlands and Arnold’s Jobcentre at the Civic Centre in Arnold.
The Secretary of State and Tom Randall MP heard from local employer Jigsaw Homes Midlands on how they are engaging with schemes from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to assist people into work. This includes providing advice and support at the quarterly Arnold Job Fairs coordinated by the DWP and Gedling Borough Council. Jigsaw Homes also supported the Government’s Kickstart programme which was launched in 2020 for young people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit to get them into six-month work placements. Tom Randall MP and the Secretary of State also heard from a local participant of the programme, Michael, on how he developed his skills and his confidence throughout despite having never worked in an office environment before. Jigsaw Homes also explained how they are helping to upskill and boost confidence in jobseekers who are over 50, like helping update their CVs and interview techniques.
Gedling’s MP and the Secretary of State also visited Arnold’s Jobcentre. This followed an earlier visit from the Employment Minister, Guy Opperman MP, in March of this year. Tom Randall MP also asked the Prime Minister at PMQs on 22nd March to join him in congratulating the staff at Arnold Jobcentre for the proactive work that they do for the community. He also said to the PM how the Jobcentre has a dedicated 50plus work coach in order to help more over 50s to go back into work.
The Secretary of State heard from the staff members at the Jobcentre about their work and also about aspects of their work that the DWP could improve upon.
After his visit, Tom Randall MP said: “I was pleased to welcome the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to my hometown of Arnold. We heard from local employer Jigsaw Homes Midlands on how they are engaging with DWP schemes to assist local people into work including.
“We also spoke with Arnold Jobcentre’s hard-working staff who are on the front-line assisting Gedling residents to find work. It was an excellent opportunity for the Secretary of State to hear their feedback on ways the DWP could continue to improve.
“It was great to hear how both Jigsaw and Arnold Jobcentre are helping to upskill and boost confidence in jobseekers who are over 50, assisting them to get back into work and continue contributing to our economy.”
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rt.Hon Mel Stride MP stated: “I know how passionately Tom is locally when it comes to people getting into work. My impression has been a fantastic series of offers available for people in the job centre and the housing association that I have spent time with today as well.
“We need to help more people into work and we need to remove all those barriers that people have whether they are young, middle-aged or the over 50s which I know is a particular interest for Tom.”