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Working Mums and the New Lone Parents Scheme

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 19 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Working Mums And The New Lone Parents Scheme

If you're a single mum who would like to start working or is employed for less than 16 hours a week, this may be for you. The New Deal for Lone Parents, or NDLP, is designed to help single parents over age 16 get back into work. It is a completely voluntary programme which provides assistance in getting the right job, helping with job interview skills, training and much more.

What is the New Deal?

If you have sole responsibility for a child under age 16 and meet the above criterion, the NDLP may be for you. It was designed to help single parents lift themselves out of the poverty trap, and provide better prospects for themselves and their children. A lone parent is classified as one who is single, widowed, separated or divorced, or simply someone with sole responsibility for a child.

The New Deal for Lone Parents provides:

  • Interview skills
  • Assistance writing a CV
  • Help in searching for the right job
  • Vocational Training Courses and new qualifications
  • Work experience
  • Help with money to pay childcare
  • Help with money to pay transport costs
  • Other training programmes

If you or someone you know is interested in the New Deal for Lone Parents scheme, contact your local benefits office or JobCentre. You will be assigned your own NDLP Personal Adviser who should help you every step of the way. It does not matter if you claim a Jobseeker's Allowance, are on Income Support, or claim no benefits whatsoever.

What is a Personal Adviser?

One of the nicest things about the New Deal is that everyone who decides to partake in it will get their own Personal Adviser. Similar programmes, such as the New Deal for Young People and the New Deal 25+, also have such advisers. They are there to provide assistance and advice every step of the way, and in theory, you will have the same individual to assist you from beginning to end. They will offer practical advice:

  • If you are unclear about what you want to do
  • When you are looking for work
  • After you begin work

They will also offer advice about:

  • Calculating all benefits and tax credits
  • How your benefits and tax credits will be affected once you begin work
  • How benefits, tax credits and other entitlements will be affected if you take on extra hours
  • Help you find quality childcare for your kids
  • Assist you with transport and childcare costs when you attend interviews, training etc.
  • Give advice if you have a disability

The New Deal is not really that new, as it was instigated in 1998 with money gained by a windfall tax of £5 billion from private utility companies. It has been criticised for making people who take part feel even less motivated to work than they did in the first place, and some people see it as a way to pressure people into work.

Other critics say it does not prepare people sufficiently well enough to enter the workforce, and that it suffers from a lack of qualified staff needed to make it run efficiently.

However, if you are a part-time working mum or a mum who would like to go back to work, it's certainly worth investigating the NDLP. While it could come to nothing, equally it could make a definitive impact on your lifestyle, and your kids' lifestyle as well. What have you got to lose?

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi single mum working part-time working. In receipt of all payments that I am entitled to such as Tax credits, WTC and child benefit. Wish to have another source of income working from home or delivery/courier on a part time basis. What are legitimate working from home opportunities without having to have start up fees etc.
KK - 19-Jan-13 @ 4:58 PM
I am a single working mum and currently struggling with my finances I wonder whether there are any benefits I am entitled to. I would also wish to further my education.
Shells - 19-Dec-12 @ 11:16 PM
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