Staff and work coaches at Chelmsford Job Centre Plus were praised by a senior government minister during a visit to Chelmsford last week. The Minister of State for Employment, Alok Sharma MP, had been invited by Chelmsford’s MP, Vicky Ford. They met with the Job Centre management team, work coach leaders, residents and some of the team from Citizens Advice Chelmsford.
The Minister heard first-hand, how the team at Chelmsford Job Centre have been helping local residents into either first time employment or back into work after a break or after a career change.
Minister Sharma said “ it was a good visit to Chelmsford and it was particularly good to spend time talking to the dedicated work coaches who are able to help people by using their local specialist knowledge of the jobs market in the City.”
Vicky added “I am always impressed by the great work being done by the staff the Job Centre. In Chelmsford we have a particularly vibrant and flexible jobs market. If anyone is considering coming back into work after a break, or wants to find out about opportunities, don’t hesitate to have a look at the positions available on the website, or drop in and have a chat with one of the team.”
During their visit Mrs Ford and the Minister also asked for an update on the rollout of Universal Credit, which has been taking place in Chelmsford since December 2018. They heard how over 3,000 people have successfully signed up to Universal Credit in Chelmsford and that everyone is offered an “advance payment” so no one claiming Universal Credit needs to wait before receiving their first payment.
Vicky Ford said “People are sometimes fearful of the benefits system, but at the Job Centre we met many claimants who said the new Universal Credit system is much easier to use and more helpful than old systems. The good news is that Citizens Advice are now giving independent advice to anyone who wants to know more about benefits, so if you have questions do make sure you ask them for assistance."