Venue: Unite the Union, London Regional Office

Dates: 6/1/2014 to 7/1/2014

The welfare advice training was held at Unite the Union’s regional office in London.  Volunteers from Unite community centre Barnsley, (Richard Vivian and M. Tariq), designed the training which lasted for two days.  In the training we made sure that all the aspects of welfare rights and benefits were covered also with the emphases on what benefit advice is about, being a competent advisor and how the advice should be given.  The core values, campaigning around benefits and protecting client’s rights and advisor client privilege (Data Protection) was also explained.  16 people attended the training and the venue and the arrangements for the training were fantastic and state of the art equipment was offered for the IT support.  Pilgrim, the organiser of the course did a marvellous job over all.

The first day of training involved the introductions, aims of the course and overview of the welfare Reform Act, legal framework, contributory/non-contributory and means tested benefits, Income Support, Job seeker Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.  Second day of training commenced with emphases on how to give advice and what factors a good advisor should consider when giving advice, ESA, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Tax Credits and Universal Credit.  Different tactics were discussed on how to retrieve the information from the client and act appropriately.  Different examples were in place to calculate different benefits and debates among the students were encouraged to elaborate on benefits, effects on society, sharing of personal experience and knowledge.

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