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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on the (a) accessibility and (b) efficiency of Jobcentre Plus services since the move to centralised contact and processing centres; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Ministers and officials meet regularly with stakeholders regarding the services we provide. Specifically we have received representations from the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee Report in March 2006, and the Citizen's Advice Bureau report on 19 July 2007.
In light of the Select Committee report and feedback, Jobcentre Plus commissioned independent research around the accessibility of Jobcentre Plus services with key stakeholder groups. These groups included benefit claimants with hearing impairments, speech impediments, learning difficulties, mental health issues and non-English speakers and Jobcentre Plus staff.
The findings from this research were published on 19 July 2007. The full report "The Use of Jobcentre Plus Telephony and Face-to-face First Contact Services by Customers with Specific Communication Barriers" (Research Report No. 446) is now available on the DWP website and copies have been placed in the Library.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what advice on benefit entitlement is available at Jobcentre Plus offices and how that advice may be accessed. This
is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus offices provide comprehensive advice on all benefits. General advice can be obtained through a range of leaflets available online, in our offices and by post. Benefit information is also available face to face and by telephone. For customers who are hard of hearing or have speech difficulties, a textphone is available. Interpreting services are also available when required.
When a customer telephones Jobcentre Plus to make a claim to benefit, or has a meeting with a Personal Adviser, we are able to provide more personalised advice on jobs and benefits. Of course, a customer's entitlement can only be determined when a claim to a benefit has been properly made.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which Scottish Jobcentre Plus offices with (a) full-time and (b) part-time opening hours were closed in each of the last five years. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking which Scottish Jobcentre Plus offices were closed in each of the last five years, with full-time and part-time opening hours. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Over the last five years Jobcentre Plus has undertaken a programme of major refurbishment to modernise its office and introduce improved business processes to support customers. This programme commenced in 2002 when Jobcentre Plus integrated the services formerly provided by the Employment Service and parts of the Benefit Agency. We inherited around 1,500 offices from these two organisations, many of which were unsuitable for Jobcentre Plus either in terms of their location or their physical structure. In drawing up local Service Delivery Plans for our modernisation programme the offices considered unsuitable were earmarked for closure. I attach a list of offices closed in Scotland in the last five years, stating whether they were full or part time.
Since its inception Jobcentre Plus has continuously improved its services to customers through modern telephony and e-services. This allows us to review our network of offices to focus our resources where they are most needed. I am committed to consulting local people and other stakeholders if this means we have to revise our original Service Delivery Plans.
I hope this is helpful.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobseeker's allowance claims were repeat claims (a) in the last year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the preceding five years; and how many claimants claimed jobseeker's allowance more than twice in each year. 
|Number of repeat jobseeker's allowance claims where an award has been made|
1. 100 per cent. administrative data are only available since June 1999.
2. A claim has been defined as a repeat claim if the jobseeker has previously (since June 1999) made a claim for JSA.
3. Figures rounded to the nearest 100.
4. Figures include credits-only awards of jobseeker's allowance.
National Benefits Database.
|Number of people making a claim for jobseeker's allowance more than twice in the year where an award has been made|
1. Figures rounded to the nearest 100.
2. The figures give the number of people who have made more than two claims for JSA within a single year.
3. Figures include credits-only awards of jobseeker's allowance.
National Benefits Database.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what percentage of jobseeker's allowance claimants identified with basic skills needs by JobCentre Plus screening acquired a basic skills qualification in (a) the latest year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the preceding five years; 
(2) how many jobseeker's allowance claimants were identified as having basic skills needs as a result of screening at six months from the start of their claim (a) in the latest year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the preceding five years. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed jobseeker's allowance in (a) the Black Country district and (b) the Marches district in each month between June 2006 and June 2007. 
|Jobseeker's allowance claimants June 2006 to June 2007|
|Black Country Jobcentre Plus district||Marches Jobcentre Plus district|
1. Figures are unrounded.
2. Figures include clerically held cases.
100 per cent. count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus Computer Systems.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) 20 parliamentary constituencies and (b) 20 local authorities were with the highest number of job vacancies in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many job vacancies there were in each case. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has (a) made to and (b) received from the Migration Advisory Committee since its inception; how many times (i) he and (ii) Ministers in his Department have met the Committee; what communication he has otherwise had with it; and what decisions he has taken which have been informed by the Committee. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how environmental sustainability will be taken into account in developing the 30 local employment partnerships announced on 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 284. 
Caroline Flint: The Green Paper In Work, better off, published on 18 July 2007, sets out Government proposals on the next steps towards achieving full employment. A key element of this is a new partnership with employers, through Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs). These do not aim to create new jobs but to open up more of the many job opportunities already coming up in the economy to long-term unemployed people and other priority jobless groups.
LEPs will prepare individuals for the world of work, provide the chance to apply for a wider range of jobs and help with the skills and motivation needed to be successful. The detailed design of the programme is currently being developed. However, in conjunction with other initiatives such as DWPs city strategy, an important element of Government policy is to promote sustainable and cohesive communities. This means tackling the concentrations of worklessness in certain areas and raising employment rates by enabling more local people to take up the jobs coming up in a local area. This will allow individuals to better support themselves and their families and play a full role in society, as well as supporting wider goals around eliminating child poverty and improving health and well being.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his oral statement of 18 July 2007, Official Report, column 280, what his definition is of high-quality wrap-around childcare. 
Caroline Flint: High quality childcare is that provided in a setting where parents are happy to leave their children knowing they are safe and well cared for in a stimulating environment. It is provision where staff are properly qualified and well-motivated and where the inspection regime provides the reassurances parents need.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people lived in households earning (a) less than 30 per cent., (b) less than 40 per cent., (c) less than 50 per cent., and (d) less than 60 per cent. of (i) median and (ii) mean income in (A) 1997 and (B) 2006. 
|Table 1: Number of individuals (million) below 50 per cent. of median and mean income: 1996-97 and 2005-06|
|Below 50 per cent. of median income||Below 50 per cent. of mean income|
|Before housing costs||After housing costs||Before housing costs||After housing costs|
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