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The latest news on unemployment, employment, benefits and the economy. Find out who’s hiring, who’s firing, changes to benefits, the unemployment rate and everything that’s new in our world.

Vauxhall car plant 'saved by GM' after new labour deal

Thu, 17/05/2012 - 00:42 -- nick

General Motors will confirm on Thursday that Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant has been saved, securing the jobs of 2,100 staff.

The US car giant will announce that the next generation of its Astra model will be built at the plant from around 2015.

The decision will also mean hundreds more jobs will be created at the plant as it moves from two shifts to three.

Many had feared that with GM's European unit sustaining heavy losses, Ellesmere Port would close.

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MPs say some apprenticeship schemes are of no benefit

Thu, 17/05/2012 - 00:38 -- nick
A parliamentary committee has questioned the length and quality of many apprenticeships. The Committee of Public Accounts said that a fifth of the schemes last six months or less and are of "no real benefit". But it also praised the increase in apprenticeships, which quadrupled in number in the four years to 2011.

500,000 could lose disability benefit

Wed, 16/05/2012 - 12:45 -- nick

Half a million people who currently receive disability living allowance (DLA) may be ineligible to get help under the replacement programme, personal independence payments (PIP).

The changes will help cut the annual cost of such payments by £2.24bn, according to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who said far more people have been claiming under the current system than can possibly be explained by illness, sickness or disability.

UK unemployment falls by 45,000

Wed, 16/05/2012 - 11:51 -- nick

UK unemployment fell by 45,000 between January and March to 2.63 million, according to official figures.

The jobless rate fell to 8.2%, the Office for National Statistics said.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 13,700 to 1.59 million in April, despite recent data showing that the UK slipped back into recession at the start of 2012.

Ministers end A4e contract for welfare-to-work scheme

Tue, 15/05/2012 - 16:38 -- nick

The government has ended a contract with welfare-to-work company A4e after deciding that continuing would be "too great a risk", it has said.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said the Mandatory Work Activity contract to help up to 1,000 jobless people in south-east England find work would end.

The firm is the subject of a police investigation into allegations of fraud relating to government schemes.

An eighth person was arrested on Monday.

Seven others are on bail until dates in late May, June and July.

Government's charity tax cap will cost 10,700 jobs, claims report

Fri, 11/05/2012 - 11:48 -- nick
The total cost of the Government's decision to cap tax relief on charity donations could be £1.5bn a year, new research suggests. An analysis by the economic forecasting consultancy Oxford Economics found that a £500m-a-year real-terms cut in charity incomes would cost between £1.2bn and £1.5bn in lost benefits to society. It would also lead to around 10,700 job losses at charities.

Unemployment set to keep on rising, says forecaster

Fri, 11/05/2012 - 11:37 -- nick
Unemployment in most parts of the UK is likely to continue to rise over the next five years, according to an economic forecasting group. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says the overall jobless rate could hit 10.7% by 2016, the highest for more than a decade. And it says it could ultimately rise to levels not seen since the early 1990s.

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