MP Bob Seely has praised Isle of Wight job centre staff in the House of Commons today during oral questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Having visited Newport Job Centre in May to see first-hand how Universal Credit is working on the Island, Bob again praised staff in Parliament.
Bob asked: “Will the Minister join me in thanking the excellent DWP staff on the Isle of Wight, some of whom I met in Newport a few weeks ago.
“I am sure that he and the team will seek to make further improvements to Universal Credit, but it was clear to me talking to those staff that Universal Credits enable them to do more good for more people than the inflexible system that preceded it.”
Alok Sharma, The Minister of State for the Department for Work and Pensions replied: “Could I thank my honourable friend for being a huge champion for Isle of Wight and working so well with his local job centre – I’m very pleased about that.
“He’s absolutely right (that) as a result of Universal Credit people are able to get the support, that one to one support, that’s so vital.”
Mr Sharma said that since 2016 an extra £10 billion has gone to the system.
In May 2019 the percentage of people claiming unemployment benefits on the Isle of Wight was 3.4 per cent which is higher than the South East region (2.3 per cent), but lower than the UK figure of 3.5 per cent.
Youth unemployment is falling faster on the Island than nationally. The number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment related benefits has fallen by 61% over the last five years, compared to a reduction of 47% nationally.