A flexibility allowing universal credit claimants to undertake training for up to 16 weeks has been extended for a second time.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency announced today that the flexibility will now last until April 28, 2023.  It had been set to end next month.

The flexibility, originally announced as a 6 month pilot in March 2021, increased the amount of time claimants could study full-time, work-focused courses while still receiving benefits, from eight weeks to 12 weeks.  This then went up to 16 weeks if the claimant was on a skills bootcamp and now applies to all types of work-related training if the person is in the “intensive work search group” for universal credit.

Universal credit claimants in the intensive work search group will be able to attend full-time, work-related training opportunities lasting up to 16 weeks across Great Britain as part of their work search activity. This flexibility has now been extended until 28 April 2023,” an update from the ESFA said.

Universal credit claimants will need to get agreement from their work coach to ensure this is the right support for them and appropriate for the local labour market.

This news article can be accessed here.