11/02/2010

Boost For Lone Parent Job Seekers

Thousands of lone parents will get extra help to attain training and work experience while their children are at nursery school, the Government announced today.

Those who work less than 16 hours a week will also be able to keep £50 of their wages before losing any benefits, Work Secretary Yvette Cooper said.

Parents of three to six-year-old children in South London, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Tees Valley will be the first to get this extra help through new Progression to Work Pathfinders.

The new plans will help lone parents to start preparing for work through activities like training, work experience or formulating a CV.

Ms Cooper said there will be an obligation on lone parents to take up help, but only during hours when their children are at school or nursery school.

"We are giving parents more support to get ready to go back to work while their children are at nursery school, but in return we do expect people to take up this extra help on offer," she said.

Unemployed parents already get help to find a job as they drop their children off at school.

Three in five lone parents already work by the time their youngest child reaches ten – a figure which has been rising over the past decade.

According to the latest Household Labour Force Survey (2009 Q2), around 80% of all lone parents and around 70% of lone parents with a youngest child under the age of seven are either working or would like to work.

Figures show that 635,000 lone parents have been helped into work through the New Deal for Lone Parents since 1998.

(PR/GK)

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