Metro Mayor supports scheme offering free broadband for jobseekers

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is lending his support to a new scheme that offers eligible jobseekers across the region 6 months of free broadband to help them with their search for work.

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the aim is to give eligible recipients the best possible chance to find work by tackling digital exclusion and removing barriers to employment.

Under the scheme, recipients are offered a voucher for six months of free unlimited broadband for the household – with a router and internet security packages included free of charge.

The package is the latest in an expansive programme of support offered across the Liverpool City Region to help people find decent, well-paid and secure work. 

Since 2017, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Households into Work programme has helped more than 2,200 people across the city region with work coaching, interview preparation and emotional support and guidance. 20% of those on the programme have never worked before, while more than 250 have successfully found work.

Tackling poverty of opportunity and digital exclusion are key priorities for Mayor Rotheram and his administration. Following May’s elections, he announced plans to deliver a Young Person’s Guarantee: a promise of a job, training or apprenticeship opportunity to all under-25s in the city region within 6 months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: 

“It’s almost impossible to get by these days without access to decent, reliable internet. Everything from paying bills and claiming benefits, to streaming TV and keeping in touch with our loved ones needs some form of connection.

“Too often people in our region are denied the chance to get on, not because they lack talent but because they lack opportunity. I’m working to make sure that everyone has access to those opportunities, from school leavers looking for a start in life, right the way through to people struggling with long-term unemployment.

“This free broadband offer will be a massive, massive help to many people across the region, helping not only the recipients but their households too.”

Daniel Kasmir, Chief People and Procurement Officer at TalkTalk said

“We believe that reliable broadband is a right not a privilege. However, many people in the Liverpool region are struggling to access to the internet, with the effects of the pandemic leading to the number of Universal Credit claimants doubling within a year. This service was trialled in the North West prior to its national roll out, and we’re proud to be working with the Mayor to get it to as many people as possible who need it”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies said: 

“We want to support jobseekers in any way we can on their journey to securing employment, which includes levelling up opportunities by making sure they are digitally connected and can access the full range of support offered by our Plan for Jobs and our JobHelp  website.”

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