Job seekers can receive free TalkTalk Internet for six months under the state regulation
The project is government funded and aims to help people find work by removing one of the usual barriers – the lack of reliable, affordable broadband
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Job seekers can get free TalkTalk Internet for six months as part of a new government program.
The agreement provides that job seekers will receive free Fibre35 broadband if they are looking for work and have a JobCentre work coach.
It’s paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which hopes it will help users find work and remove one of the main barriers to it – a lack of reliable internet.
The deal gives average internet speeds of 38 megabytes per second.
After the six months have expired, customers can either continue the deal as a paid contract with TalkTalk or terminate it.
There are no data caps, but users are expected to use normal amounts of data.
During the pandemic, a lot of face-to-face training and job supports were relocated online, making an internet connection even more important.
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TalkTalk and DWP tested the voucher at the start of the UK’s second lockdown last year in Greater Manchester and Cheshire to help jobseekers stuck at home.
TalkTalk is now introducing the program at national level for all Jobcenter Plus work coaches in order to offer job seekers.
The scheme works like a kind of voucher.
TalkTalk gives the DWP a set of referral codes that the DWP distributes to eligible customers so that they can use them to prepay for the service from the fund.
Customers then call TalkTalk directly on a dedicated number to redeem these codes.
TalkTalk believes that the voucher system could be extended to other people who have difficulty accessing the Internet. It will work with schools and councils to see if others can be helped in the same way.
Daniel Kasmir, TalkTalk’s Chief People & Procurement Officer, said, “We believe that reliable broadband is a right, not a privilege.
“Successful testing of this program in the Northwest shows the value of broadband to job seekers.”
Labor Secretary Mims Davies said: “We want to support jobseekers in every possible way on their way to job security and our JobHelp website.”
BT was launched earlier this year Broadband at half the price for people with a tight budget or who are entitled to universal credit.
The affordable Home Essentials Internet package offers fiber broadband and calls for £ 15 a month.
BT claims this will save customers £ 240 per year compared to similar offerings.
Customers have to be switched on Universal credit or other means-tested benefits to apply for the BT package.
This means that you must receive the guaranteed credit element of the pension loan, unemployment benefit, income support, or employment and support allowance.
More than half of Britons (56%) now feel more vulnerable compared to when the pandemic started, with one in three (30%) in need of additional financial help, the telecommunications company said.