Jobcentre Plus Flexible Support Fund - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 13 October 2011 | Standard notes SN06079

Authors: Daniel Harari, Steven Kennedy

Topic: Employment schemes

From April 2011 a number of schemes operated by Jobcentre Plus – including the Deprived Areas Fund, the Adviser Discretion Fund and the Travel to Interview Scheme – were abolished and replaced by the “Flexible Support Fund” (FSF).

The FSF gives Jobcentre Plus Districts greater freedom to tailor back to work support to individual and local need. Working within local guidelines and priorities, Jobcentre Plus Advisers have discretion to decide how to help individuals move closer to or into work. The FSF also includes a grant funding mechanism, enabling Jobcentre Plus District Managers to award funding to local “partnerships” to address barriers to work. There is no exhaustive list of needs that may be met by the FSF, but examples could include travel costs, tools or training.

No official estimate of the FSF’s budget has been published by the DWP. However, a Jobcentre Plus presentation for “external stakeholders” from March 2011 stated that the new fund would be “about £147 million nationally”.

There is limited information on the FSF in the public domain. This note sets out such information as is currently available, including extracts from DWP guidance.

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