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Devolve Job Search services - Plaid MP

21/06/2022

Plaid Cymru’s work and pensions spokesperson Hywel Williams MP will today present a Ten Minute Rill Bill to the Commons and use it to call for the devolution of JobCentre Plus.

Under Mr Williams’ proposals, administration of the Jobcentre Plus network, including employment placements and negotiations with third-sector employment providers and organisers, would be devolved to the Welsh Government.

Mr Williams will suggest that by integrating these services into the Welsh Government’s remit, then this would mean that learning, skills and employment are treated more holistically.

He will also say that with the UK Government’s looming threat of privatisation, Wales should be able to choose for itself how the job search services are implemented.

Mr Williams said:

“People want to work and I see this problem time and time again in my constituency.

“Looking for jobs is one of the hardest tasks that people undertake. It isn’t easy or simple to find employment, especially if you have already been out of work for some time or face a disability of any sort.

“That’s exactly what why we have these career specialists. Privatising these job search services will not produce any better ways of placing people in employment.

“I believe that now is the time more than ever to devolve the Jobcentre Plus network in Wales – quite frankly because it makes sense in the age of devolution.

“We cannot ignore the fact that job search and job creation is now largely the responsibility of the Welsh Government – in terms of responsibility and scrutiny terms. It is not healthy that these services are still far more closely related with the benefits department.

“Wales has a high number of people who are out of work for long periods of time and a large number who have never worked.

“We need a Wales-focussed approach to these services so that we can develop a Welsh solution to employment issues as part of a holistic solution to get people into work – and to keep them there.”