Coventry firm calls for welfare reform - The Coventry Observer

Coventry firm calls for welfare reform

Coventry Editorial 11th Sep, 2023   0

A FIRM has called on the government and big businesses to tear up the ‘fragmented, outdated and siloed’ welfare system which they claim hinders the very people it was designed for.

Wel-tech firm We Are Digital (WAD) has recently created an ‘Impact Council’ including more than 40 senior executives, thought leaders, and academics from a wide variety of businesses, to form a new model for the sector.

The firm’s founder Matthew Adam said those seeking debt advice, housing assistance, or wanting to learn online skills across Coventry and Warwickshire have to make dozens of calls and have several appointments over many months to get the right help.

He added the ‘disjointed’ experience’ left millions of people still needing support and felt the person in need should have one contact source to immediately get help.

He said this strategy would save councils millions.

We Are Digital, based in Coventry, recently received around £5.224million from Europe’s biggest social impact fund to help deliver this service.

Mr Adam said: “This is not something everyone wants to hear, but the system designed to help people in need is itself in need of critical help, and that means modernisation and disruption.

“The lack of a joined-up service means that not only are people losing out, but this outdated and siloed system is costing millions of pounds more than it should.

“The system is fragmented, but it can be saved if everyone is committed to it.

“This is not a comfortable conversation to have, but it needs to be had, and we have to design it together.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Our welfare system helps millions of people every year and it is vital that it can be accessed by all who need it.

“All our customers have a direct line of contact with our work coaches and can access tailored one-to-one assistance at our Jobcentres, which work with employers, the NHS, local authorities and other partners to provide joined-up support.”

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