88,000 looking for work in as department launch new drive

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey Picture: CHRIS McANDREW/UK PARLIAMENT

Work and Pensions secretary Therese Coffey - Credit: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament (

Figures from the East of England have revealed there are currently 88,000 people out of work as a new Government drive has begun to get people back into work more quickly. 

The Department for Work and Pensions has launched ‘Way to Work,’ by which job seekers will have to look more widely than their preferred field after four weeks, rather than the current three months. 

The change follows the lifting of Plan B regulations and the return to a more normal way of life as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. 

Universal Credit claimants will have to search more widely if they are not able to find work in their previous occupation or sector, which will be a condition for them to continue to receive benefits. 

The sanctions regime will still apply to any claimants who do not engage with Jobcentre Plus to secure a job. 

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, said: “Helping people get any job now, means they can get a better job and progress into a career. 

“Way to Work is a step change in our offer to claimants and employers, making sure our jobcentre network and excellent work coaches can deliver opportunities, jobs and prosperity to all areas of the country. 

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 “As we emerge from COVID, we are going to tackle supply challenges and support the continued economic recovery by getting people into work. Our new approach will help claimants get quickly back into the world of work while helping ensure employers get the people they and the economy needs.” 

Julia Nix, Service Leader for East Anglia, said: “Our dedicated work coaches in the East of England are working flat out to help people get back into work as we bounce back from the pandemic. 

 “We want people to know we’re there for them and that we’re working with employers to identify and help fill their vacancies in all sectors, especially key industries.”