Guy Opperman MP, Minister for EmploymentMinister for Employment, Guy Opperman MP said:

“Today’s figures show the number of people on payrolls remains at an all-time high. But it is important that working people get the support they need to progress and boost their incomes.

“This government will always take steps to make sure work pays. We have already cut the Universal Credit taper rate and increased the work allowance, so claimants can keep more of their hard-earned money.

“Next year, we’re going further by providing tailored employment support to a further 600,000 claimants on Universal Credit who are already in work.”

Further information: 

Labour market overview, UK: December 2022
Estimates of employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other employment-related statistics for the UK.

Released 13 December 2022

On 30 November 2022 in central Birmingham, the employability sector heard from the new minister for the first time. Watch Guy Opperman’s opening address at the ERSA Conference here. 

On behalf of ERSA members ERSA’s CEO, Elizabeth Taylor had the first opportunity to meet Guy Opperman in person at Caxton House to discuss Labour Market Shortages. Elizabeth put forward our solutions built on the sectors’ experience and expertise working with those who who can fill the vacancies. In particular making the point about expanding eligibility to existing provisions and bringing forward SPF People and Skills to 2023.

Call for Evidence

In response to the current circumstances in the labour market, the government is looking at solutions to solve the problem of high vacancies and rising economic inactivity. During discussions with the Minister of State for Employment, Guy Opperman, ERSA argued that funding providers would be one way to help tackle this problem.

Subsequently, we have been asked by a senior civil servant to collate quantitative evidence from ESF-funded projects to make the evidence for bringing forward the ‘People and Skills’ strand of UKSPF to 2023.

They have asked ERSA to provide the following:

  1. On a project-by-project basis, any quantitative information that demonstrates the effectiveness of your ESF programme. For example, how many people who moved into work and stayed in work in the long-term, likewise the characteristics of the cohorts of people targeted e.g. how long had they been out of work for, over 50s, NEETs, parents, carers, care leavers, those with health conditions.
  2. If you were given an equivalent amount of funding to the ESF and asked to deliver a new funding programme, what improvements would you make and why?

It would also be useful to know the numbers of participants on current provision and the end date of that provision.

Finally, if the government decide to ask for potential pilots, please provide evidence of what sort of programme you could deliver and how much this would roughly cost.

If you can, please send this information to by COP Wednesday 14 December.