The UK Employment Minister Damian Hinds has said he will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work, that's why we are recruiting 2,500 new work coaches to help those who need it most.

The role of DWP Universal Credit work coaches

In the DWP 2018 Welfare trends report, Chapter 3 it looked at the design of universal credit, including the role to be played by Universal Credit work coaches setting conditions and applying sanctions to encourage claimants to seek and progress in work. This box outlined the role, responsibilities and renumeration of work coaches, as set out in DWP's candidate information pack for applicants for the role.

The role of DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) Universal Credit work coaches is to provide support and guidance to individuals who are claiming Universal Credit, which is a means-tested benefit for people who are on a low income or out of work. Work coaches are responsible for helping claimants to find and apply for suitable employment, improve their employability skills, and overcome any barriers to work.

Some of the key responsibilities of DWP Universal Credit work coaches include:

  • Assessing claimants' needs: Work coaches are responsible for assessing the needs and capabilities of claimants to determine what support they require to find employment.
  • Creating individualized action plans: Work coaches develop individualized action plans for claimants, which set out the steps they need to take to improve their employability skills and find work.
  • Providing advice and guidance: Work coaches provide advice and guidance to claimants on job searching, CV writing, interview skills, and other aspects of the job application process.
  • Monitoring progress: Work coaches monitor the progress of claimants and provide ongoing support to help them achieve their employment goals.
  • Referring to specialist support: Work coaches can refer claimants to specialist support services, such as mental health services, disability employment advisers, and training providers, to help them overcome any barriers to work.

The role of DWP Universal Credit work coaches is to help claimants to become financially independent through employment, and to support them in achieving their personal and professional goals.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Work Coaches are professionals who work for the UK government's Department for Work and Pensions. Their role is to provide support and guidance to people who are looking for work or who are already in employment but may need some additional help to progress in their careers.

Work Coaches typically work in Jobcentres or through other DWP services and work with a wide range of people, including those who are unemployed, disabled, or have other barriers to finding work. They help individuals to identify their skills and strengths, set achievable goals, and develop a plan to achieve their career aspirations.

Work Coaches also provide advice on job searching, including CV writing, interview skills, and networking. They may also help people access training or education to improve their skills and job prospects.

Overall, Work Coaches play a vital role in helping people find and sustain employment, supporting them through the challenges and providing them with the tools they need to succeed.

Based on Department for Work & Pensions data from 2017.

Each of the 13,000 or more work coaches required when UC is fully rolled out will be expected to carry out a wide-ranging set of activities for both in- and out-of-work cases. According to DWP’s ‘candidate information pack’ explaining the role to prospective job applicants, these activities include.

  • having an assigned caseload of UC, JSA, ESA and IS claimants for whom they will be responsible, providing consistency and continuity of service;
  • supporting UC customers to make the most of their work and earnings potential and become financially independent.
  • proactively develop[ing] in-depth knowledge of the local labour market and provision.
  • coaching others to use digital job search methods i.e. job search websites, email, uploading documents, social media.
  • be accountable for the decisions made during interviews with claimants to help move them back into sustained employment or prepare for work and
  • a few roles involve home visits e.g. to help customers make applications for benefit or to obtain information.

In carrying out these activities, the work coaches will need to:

  • “coach claimants to take responsibility for getting themselves into work, sustaining work and developing their career”;
  • “deliver a personalised service to claimants, identifying challenges to support them back into work within the guidance framework provided”;
  • “be responsible for identifying the range of provision available and referring claimants appropriately to relevant supportive provision”;
  • “coach claimants to develop the skills they need to look for and obtain sustained employment, or, for some claimants, move them closer to work”;
  • “review the claimants work plan or other documentation to confirm the claimant is available and actively seeking employment”; and
  • “identify conditionality doubts; taking appropriate and timely action”.

At the same time, work coaches will be “required to undertake a work based apprenticeship undertaken in work time”.

Work coach positions have been advertised at salaries of between £24,000 and £26,000 a year.

Self-employed claimants will be served by ‘enhanced capability work coaches’ who will receive special training in order to carry out all the same activities but in respect of the viability of self-employed businesses.