In response to the high numbers of constituent enquiries that Stephen Morgan receives relating to employment, the city MP has spent time at the coal face at Portsmouth Job Centre this week.
In light of the Government decision to roll out Universal Credit, a benefit that is set to replace five legacy benefits, Stephen Morgan MP also spoke to those responsible for implementing these changes to hear about how it will affect his constituents.
Following his visit Mr Morgan said:
“The visit was about understanding the complexities of the benefits system and deep diving into the structures that many constituents navigate on a daily basis.
Universal Credit is in the process of being rolled across the nation, Portsmouth included. I am glad to have spent time with those on the front line to learn about the implications of these changes for my city, share concerns and to relay the feedback that I receive on a daily basis from constituents”.
As part of his visit, the Portsmouth born MP spent time with varying Job Centre staff.
The initial part of the work shadowing was with the front of house staff, known as the Service Delivery Team who are responsible for interacting with constituents at a face to face level.
Here, Mr. Morgan spent some time with work coaches, who’s main role is to support people into work by challenging, motivating and providing personalised advice.
Following the first part of the work shadowing, Mr. Morgan said:
“I am very grateful to the staff at the Job Centre for allowing me to work alongside them.
It is essential for an MP to see how policy is implemented and to observe first-hand the challenges that they face.
It has become evident that the diminishing number of voluntary organisations is having an adverse effect on the workload of our Job Centres, and in turn making it harder to access the services they need“.
The visit helped inform enquiries relating to Universal Credit and offered an opportunity for the MP to strengthen contacts with Job Centre staff on the key concerns being raised by his constituents.