Jobcentre Plus agrees to encourage jobseekers to volunteer

Agreement with Volunteering England will lead to an action plan to promote volunteering among claimants

Staff at job centres will be asked to encourage unemployed people to volunteer under a new agreement between Jobcentre Plus and Volunteering England.

The agreement, signed by Mike Locke, director of public affairs at Volunteering England and Matthew Nicholas, director of employers and stakeholders at Jobcentre Plus, says the two organisations will draw up an action plan for increasing the number of jobseekers who volunteer, and hold regular meetings to discuss progress on the issue.

Jobcentre Plus staff will also make sure claimants are given the correct information about their entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance when they are volunteering, the agreement says.

In a statement, Volunteering England said: "Some jobseekers face barriers that discourage them from volunteering, including not receiving enough advice about receiving benefits while volunteering.

"People on state benefits can be volunteers and in nearly all cases their benefits are not affected."

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