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Ministerial Visits

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the visit of the Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations in June. [128090]

Ms Jowell: I visited the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations on 22 June in response to their kind invitation to be the keynote speaker at their annual conference on New Deal. During what proved to be a very successful conference I congratulated the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and its member organisations for the significant contribution they had made to the successful delivery of New Deal in Scotland. I outlined the various measures that were being, or would be, taken further to improve the help New Deal can give to particularly disadvantaged young people and those who are long term unemployed. The SCVO video on the Voluntary Sector Option in Scotland was launched and an award presented to the 4000th young person to enter the option in Scotland. I looked forward to a continuation of the partnership working between SCVO, its members, the Employment Service and other New Deal partners that has been a special feature of the delivery of the option in Scotland.

New Deal

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many employers in Paisley, South, or the nearest available geographical unit, have agreed to take on one or more subsidised employees from the New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds in each month since January 1998; and how many employers have

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agreed to take their first subsidised employee from the New Deal scheme for 18 to 24-year-olds in each month since January 1998. [128737]

Ms Jowell: The information is not available in the form requested but we do have aggregate information for the Johnstone and Paisley jobcentre catchment areas. Since April 1998, when the New Deal for young people was introduced nationally, a total of 237 employers have signed New Deal agreements and many of these have taken on one or more subsidised employees. Many employers signing agreements will also have taken on young people into unsubsidised jobs and in the Paisley, South constituency as a whole, over 400 young people have found jobs under the New Deal. This is a significant contribution to our manifesto commitment to help 250,000 young people into jobs through the New Deal.

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent research he has carried out into the reasons for those in the New Deal scheme leaving the scheme prematurely. [128736]

Ms Jowell: The purpose of New Deal is to move people swiftly into jobs and the design of New Deal enables young people to leave from all stages of the process to take jobs or for other reasons. Those that return to Jobseeker's allowance within three months go back on to New Deal at the point they left. However, young people do leave the process without telling us where they are going. They are under no obligation to do so but we are naturally concerned to know more about their circumstances. As a result we commissioned a study in 1999 which told us that 57 per cent. of leavers went into jobs and 8 per cent. into training. A second survey of leavers to unknown destinations from all three stages of the New Deal for Young People is currently under way.

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment which parliamentary constituencies fall within which New Deal units of delivery. [129461]

Ms Jowell: There is no neat fit between New Deal Units of Delivery and parliamentary constituencies. It is for this reason that quarterly New Deal statistics for each parliamentary constituency have been produced and placed in the Libraries alongside those on a Unit of Delivery basis. A list of Units of Delivery and those parliamentary constituencies that fall, all or for the most part, within their boundaries is contained in the table, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.

Jobcentres

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what guidance his Department has given to jobcentres regarding the advertising of jobs in the sex industry; and what definition of the sex industry is used in the guidance; [129110]

Ms Jowell [holding answers 4 and 10 July 2000]: Responsibility for the subject of these questions has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

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Letter from Richard Foster to Mr. Tim Loughton, dated 12 July 2000:





ONE System

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 28 June 2000, Official Report, column 544W, concerning Welfare to Work and ONE, if he will list (a) the organisations and individuals consulted, (b) the organisations and individuals who attended the seminar on 18 January and (c) other organisations and individuals who have been asked for advice during the course of the review; and if he will make a statement. [130053]

Ms Jowell: Those who attended the seminar were:


The rest of the information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Career Guidance

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to ensure that the level of career guidance available to 13 to 19-year-olds will be maintained by the Connexions service. [130226]

Mr. Wicks: The Government are committed to universal access to careers education and guidance for all young people. Every young person will get help to enable them to make well-informed decisions. We will be

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drawing up a national statement of what young people can expect from the Connexions Service including access to impartial careers guidance.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to ensure that the knowledge and experience of career guidance practitioners will be utilised by the Connexions service. [130225]

Mr. Wicks: The Connexions Service will offer at least the same level of careers information, advice and guidance for 13 to 19-year-olds as is currently provided by the Careers Service. It will be a universal service with a focus on removing any barriers to learning faced by young people.

The new Connexions Service will offer challenging new posts to be filled by people with the appropriate competence and skills, including people from the existing Careers Service, Youth Service and other statutory, community and voluntary organisations.

A major training programme for the personal adviser is being developed and the DfEE recently published a consultation document on the development of the professional framework for personal advisers. The document had been developed through discussion and consultation with representatives from the Youth Services, Careers Services and others and invites views and advice from a range of people including existing practitioners in both professions.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on how the independence and impartiality of career guidance practitioners will be maintained under the provisions of the Learning and Skills Bill [Lords]. [130227]

Mr. Wicks: Impartiality is a fundamental element of the Government's approach to guidance. The Connexions Service will offer at least the same level of impartial careers information, advice and guidance for 13-19 year olds as is currently provided by careers services. Local managers from the Connexions Service will agree with schools how school based personal advisers will be deployed and how the impartiality of guidance will be ensured.

The Learning and Skills Council has a power under the Learning and Skills Bill to secure for adults, the provision of facilities for providing information, advice or guidance about education or training or connected matters (including employment). The arrangements for ensuring the quality and impartiality of that provision will be for the Learning and Skills Council to agree with those organisations delivering it.

However, impartiality is and will continue to be a key principle underpinning publicly funded information, advice and guidance services. The Government have invested £54 million over the period 1999-2002 on the development of local information, advice and guidance services to adults. A key priority for that money is to raise the quality of information, advice and guidance provision through the development of national quality standards, underpinned by the principle of impartiality, against which providers of information, advice or guidance to adults are required to be accredited by March 2002.

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