Iain Duncan Smith visits Blackpool's PHX Training

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith met with tutors and learners at the Blackpool branch of PHX Training to discuss the latest reforms to the welfare system.

Duncan SmithThe minister explored issues relating to unemployment and the job market in the region, as well as the services provided at the centre.

Duncan Wilding, centre manager of PHX Blackpool, said: “Iain took the time to talk to tutors and learners, and was particularly interested in what we do at PHX, as well as what learners had to say about their experiences.

“It was good to hear people reporting an increase in confidence through learning, meaning they are putting themselves in a better position to secure employment.

“Training is such a key factor in reducing unemployment rates, as it helps to close the skills gap and equips people to be work ready, as well as increasing confidence and the ability to apply for and secure a job.”

PHX Training, which has 10 centres across Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside, offers a range of programmes and services to help get people into work, including courses in employability, English, maths and IT.

In January, the company announced it was launching new apprenticeships for 2015 in sales and recruitment, which will run alongside its existing programmes including business administration, customer service and health and social care. It also announced the launch of its new bespoke service PHX Jobmatch, an online portal designed to match unemployed people with suitable jobs.