Warwick and Leamington MP, James Plaskitt, today welcomed the announcement
that Warwick and Leamington has been included as one of the twelve areas to pilot the new
Single Work Focused Gateway to the benefit system.
Announced on 28 October by Andrew Smith MP, the minister for Employment, Welfare to
Work and Equal Opportunities, the Single Gateway marks a step change in the welfare
system. Currently the system puts clients into boxes, depending on whether they are
employed, lone parents, carers or face illness or disability. Under the Gateway, after an
initial "registration and orientation" phase, all clients will be allocated a
personal advisor. The advisor will be responsible for working with individual clients to
establish their individual needs and provide them with the help they need to become
independent and move towards work. The Gateway will be the cornerstone of the
Governments philosophy for welfare reform work for those who can, support for
those who cannot.
The Single Gateway will integrate the activities currently carried out by the
Employment Service, the Benefits Agency and local authorities. The aim is that benefit
clients should receive a seamless service, accessing expert advice and drawing on the
expertise of public, private and voluntary agencies rather than being faced with
duplication and overlap.
Mr Plaskitt said,
"This is an important and welcome reform, which will help hundreds of people
locally. I am very pleased that we have been chosen as a pilot area."