The Benefit System, The Regions, Welfare to Work, Work Capability Assessment

– Panorama Probes Rhyl’s Welfare Reforms

The BBC’s Panorama has probed whether the coalition-government’s welfare reforms will be able to bring effective change to one of the UK’s hardest hit locations -Rhyl in Wales.  In the west of the coastal town, 610 (68%) people out of a working age population of 895 are unemployed and claiming benefits.


Reporter Vivian White met with Ray Worsnop, who has worked in markets all his life, tand set up a new open air market in the town centre.  With the support of Chris Ruane MP, a native of Rhyl, he runs a course which aims to turn people on benefits into market traders.


Mr. Ruane is a key figure in Rhyl’s City Strategy to lift two thirds of the community out of unemployment and into work.  Grass roots social enterprises have been funded via the City Strategy so that people claiming benefits will have opportunities to train, work and earn.  The Taste Academy, sponsored by the charity Rathbone, is one such enterprise that employs recent benefit claimants to staff the café as part of a six month paid apprenticeship.  The Academy aims to get 3 out of  5 trainees into sustained employment.

The Rehab Group have won one of the two work programme contracts in Wales, and Chief Executive Angela Kerins is confident change will come to Rhyl:


“We’re hoping to have at least 2500 access our programmes, and we’re fairly confident that we will have at least 1000 of those people in jobs at the end of the Programme.”


However, Mr. Ruane is wary of the government’s approach to the future of  incapacity benefit claimants:


“If you get the big stick out too soon, too early, when there are no jobs there or even worse, when the job opportunities are diminishing, you’ll be driving people back on the streets.”


In October 2010, the Department for Work and Pensions reported that three-quarters of people currently claiming incapacity support benefits will be ineligible for Employment and Support Allowance this year.


Kuki Taylor

Research and Communications Officer


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1 Comment

  1. The DWP are going to fail all those who fall into the most vulnerable catagories, the sick and disabled, the government just wants to punish people.

    Today Chris Grayling introduced the “wisconsin Welfare” model, it punished the poorest of society, only three years on benefits in your entire life are allowed, then it’s just food stamps.

    Sadly no one seems to be standing up for those less able, not even the Labour party, its disgusting how compliant they have been over this issue on welfare, shame on them..

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