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[28 JUN 99] BILL OLNER PRESS RELEASSE
Olner Welcomes Local Welfare Reform Flagship

Nuneaton MP Bill Olner has welcomed the Government announcement that Warwickshire is to serve as one of the pioneering sites for the new integrated employment and benefits service known as "ONE".

The new service, announced jointly today by the Departments of Education & Employment and Social Security, offers a radical new approach to the provision of benefits and employment services. All new benefit claimants will be required to meet with a personal advisor who will assess their need for welfare support and their employability in tandem. All clients who are able to work will be supported towards greater independence and readiness for work.

Commenting in the announcement Bill Olner MP said:

"This means a better deal for those using the benefits system. The "ONE" service is at the heart of the Governments welfare to work reforms and I am delighted that Nuneaton and Warwickshire has been selected as one of the first pilot areas. "ONE" will deliver a unified service which will cut red tape, support those who can work in seeking employment and provide security for those who are unable to work. For the first time we are creating a system which is about what people can so, not what they can’t.

"All too often people have been pigeon-holed by the benefits system and given little help or encouragement to lift themselves out of dependency. The new service will maximise people’s skills and open up new opportunities. Extra help is matched by the responsibility to take part in an interview looking at how the client can move forward to work, develop their skills and increase their experience."

Bill went on to say:

"This represents a great opportunity for Nuneaton but also a challenge. We already know that "ONE" will only work with the support and energies of the whole community. The professionalism of the Benefits Agency, Employment Service, and Local Authority staff will vital, as well the expertise of local groups such as those representing disabled people and lone parents, and those giving welfare advice. I am confident that, as a community, it is a challenge that we will rise to and that we will play our part in creating the welfare system of the future."
    

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DFEE

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY



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CWN / Politics / Newswire / Bill Olner MP / 28 Jun 99

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