Moray has recorded a remarkable decline in the number of people claiming benefits in the past year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The statistics show that the region has outperformed the national average in reducing the claimant count across all age groups and categories.
Benefits claims down by 20 per cent in 18-24 age group
One of the most notable achievements in Moray’s benefits claims reduction is the 20 per cent fall in the 18-24 age group, which represents 50 fewer claimants than in December 2022. This is a significant improvement compared to the national trend, which saw a three per cent increase in the same age group.
The DWP attributed this success to the various initiatives and support schemes that have been implemented in Moray to help young people find and secure employment opportunities. These include online and in-person jobs fairs, on-site recruitment events, and specialist support from work coaches and disability employment advisers.
Jane Munro, spokesperson for Moray Jobcentres, said: “As the year kicks off, the focus is on helping employers grow their business by opening up jobcentres for on-site recruitment. Also, ramping up online and in-person jobs fairs means every jobseeker has an opportunity to make progress. Our next online Jobsfair is taking place on Tuesday, January 23 between 11am-1pm – check out @jcpinscotland for live vacancies.”
Over-50 category also sees impressive decline in benefits claims
Another remarkable achievement in Moray’s benefits claims reduction is the 15 per cent fall in the over-50 category, which represents 50 fewer claimants than in December 2022. This is a notable improvement compared to the national trend, which saw an eight per cent decrease in the same category.
The DWP highlighted the importance of unlocking the skills and abilities of older jobseekers, who often face barriers and challenges in the labour market. The DWP also emphasised the availability of financial support for those on Universal Credit, such as increased childcare payments and access to work grants.
Jane Munro said: “Jobcentres have a wrap-around service as customers with health issues can access specialist support through a Disability Employment Adviser. Access to Work is also available to support people with a Health condition return to work – please check out www.gov.uk and search Access to Work for more information. Jobseekers can also check out the thousands of vacancies on offer, by searching the DWP FindaJob website or follow Moray Works on Facebook.”
Overall benefits claims down by nine per cent in Moray
The overall benefits claims reduction in Moray is also impressive, as the region saw a nine per cent decrease in the claimant count, down from 1385 to 1255. This is a substantial improvement compared to the national trend, which saw a two per cent decrease in the same period.
The DWP praised the efforts of the local jobcentres and employers in Moray, who have worked together to create and fill vacancies across various sectors and industries. The DWP also pointed out the positive impact of the government’s Back to Work plan, which aims to offer employment and health support to over a million people, while protecting those most in need from cost of living pressures.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride MP said: “Today’s figures are yet more evidence the economy is turning a corner with the numbers of jobs hitting a record high and inactivity falling by nearly 270,000 last year. Our £2.5 billion Back to Work plan will open up the benefits of employment for thousands more people, while we continue to make work pay by cutting taxes and boosting the national living wage.”
The Back to Work plan seeks to increase benefits by 6.7 per cent and pensions by 8.5 per cent, maintaining the government’s commitment to seeing the country through.