Welfare claimants seeking jobs in East End triple during pandemic

London Assembly's Unmesh Desai calling for more job placements

London Assembly's Unmesh Desai is calling for more job placements. - Credit: Tom Simpson/GLA (left) and Mike Brooke

The number of people on welfare looking for work in the East End during the the pandemic has tripled compared to a year ago, latest figures show.  

Now a call has been made for the government to “patch up the holes” and create more job placements.  

There were 21,000 welfare claimants in Tower Hamlets alone in the run-up to the New Year, compared to 8,000 in the same quarter a year ago.  

The London Assembly’s Unmesh Desai, who represents east London, is calling for job creation programmes to be extended. 

“We need to patch up the holes in the welfare system,” he said. “The £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit must be extended beyond April and the needless five-week waiting period for first payments must be scrapped.” 

The government was offering six-month work placements to 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit. But figures show fewer than 2,000 in London were taken up out of the 120,000 created.