|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what advice and support is available to those who wish to return to work after undertaking caring responsibilities and also that Department for Work and Pensions staff are trained to provide that advice and support. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as chief executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Everyone returning to work, and who is claiming jobseekers allowance, will discuss and agree the steps that will offer the best chance of finding work. This information is recorded in the jobseekers agreement, which is reviewed at regular intervals. Customers are given information and advice about the range of Jobcentre Plus services, including our telephony based job-matching service (Jobseeker Direct) and our internet job bank, and how to make best use of these and other vacancy sources.
People are usually required to attend their nearest Jobcentre Plus office on a fortnightly basis to discuss what they have been doing to find work and to see what further support, if required, can be offered in terms of jobsearch or training/re-training.
To continue to receive jobseekers allowance, people must usually be available for work for a minimum of 40 hours per week. However, restrictions on hours/days are allowed for customers who have caring responsibilities, which can be restricted to a minimum of 16 hours a week.
People who are particularly disadvantaged in the labour market can access additional help through early entry to the new deal, providing more intensive help through the support of a personal adviser and a range of opportunities to help overcome more significant barriers to employment. Similarly, early access is available to Programme Centre provision, which can provide additional help for those people who need to improve motivation and confidence, and their basic jobsearch skills.
With regard to staff training, Jobcentre Plus has a diverse customer base and a comprehensive programme of learning designed to equip advisers with the full range of knowledge and skills required to support all our customers. A new Adviser Skills Learning Routeway was introduced in September 2005, which is supported by an efficient learning routeway providing advisers with key knowledge and skills.
We work closely with external partners in the development of learning products and in the up-skilling of our advisers, ensuring that additional modules are designed and delivered when required to deal with specific customer needs. These partners are professionals and are recognised as experts in their field and are able to provide the specialised knowledge and understanding of specific customer groups.
I hope this information is helpful and assures you of our intent to provide people with the best possible service, aimed at helping them into work as soon as possible.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 February 2008, Official Report, columns 963-64W, on advertising, what his Department's marketing costs were in each year for which figures are available; and what percentage of his Department's overall expenditure those figures constituted. 
Derek Twigg: While marketing activity occurs across the Department this is not as a discrete function, but rather as an integrated element of strategic communications, press, PR, internal communications or e-media.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the compensation scheme for former civilian internees of the Japanese in the Second World War, on what date the qualification requirement that recruitment of applications had to have taken place in the UK was introduced in relation to service abroad with the Government counting towards the 20- year residency qualification; and if he will make a statement. 
The then Under-Secretary of State announced on 26 June 2006, Official Report, columns 9-10, that the detailed rules of the Far Eastern Prisoners of War Scheme 20-year residence criterion, which allow applicants to demonstrate the required close link to the UK on the basis of post-January 1945 residence in the UK, were being published and implemented that day. The rules, which were the subject of consultation with the Association of British Civilian InterneesFar East Region, allow periods
employed outside the UKwhether with the British Government or otherwiseto count towards the 20 years providing there is reasonable evidence of an intention to return to this country; this will most likely be the case with postings from the UK. There is, however, no requirement that the individual should have been in the UK when recruited; if a persons employment was contracted on the basis that they would otherwise have been resident in the UK and that they would travel to the UK at its termination, that would qualify.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the new facilities of (a) a swimming pool and (b) a gymnasium at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court will be funded. 
Derek Twigg: There are currently a hydrotherapy pool and five separate gyms (four in current use) at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court. One of the gyms needs to be refurbished. The unit also makes regular use of a local authority swimming pool at Leatherhead. These facilities are publicly funded.
A new charity, Help for Heroes, has offered to raise funds to build a swimming pool and gym, as part of a new rehabilitation complex at Headley Court. We warmly welcome this generous offer to enhance the unit's existing facilities. The rehabilitation of military patients on the site, which is itself owned by a charitable trust, has for many years benefited from charitable donations and it is entirely appropriate that such funding should be blended with public funding in this way. We shall work closely with the charity as its proposals are developed.
We are also continuing to invest significantly from public funds in new buildings. We opened a new 30-bed ward annex last year (costing £1.7 million). Work is now starting on a 58-bed accommodation block for patients and staff (costing about £4 million). We are also considering a longer term development plan to improve accommodation and clinical facilities across the site, and thus maintain the first-class capability that Headley Court currently offers.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of each of his Department's (a) trained officer target structures, (b) trained soldier target structures and (c) Army Output Map produced since 2005-06. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Targets for trained officers and soldiers, by capbadge, are given in the Army Monthly Manning Report, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Two Army Output Maps have been produced since 2005-06. I will place copies in the Library of the House.
Today all servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan receive a medal once they have met the qualifying criteria, which reflects the risk to life and limb of the servicemen and women and the rigour of the operations upon which they are deployed. The medals are issued automatically in the event of death or injury that leads to evacuation from theatre, regardless of how long individuals have served on the operation.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have held with (i) directors and (ii) senior executives of (A) Capita Group plc and (B) its subsidiaries since 1 January 2001; what the (1) location and (2) duration of each meeting was; whether a record of each meeting was kept; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) objective and (b) value was of each contract placed with (i) Deloitte and Touche, (ii) Ernst and Young, (iii) KPMG, (iv) PricewaterhouseCoopers and (v) PA Consulting by his Department and its agencies in each year since 2004-05. 
Derek Twigg: The information available from centrally held records is shown in the following table. Some information could be held under other names or outside central records. In addition, the information on objectives missing for a few of the older contracts quoted has been archived and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Contractor name||Objective||Maximum current contract value (£ 000 )|
Excluded are contracts placed on behalf of Other Government Departments, joint venture/alliance contracts, contracts placed through collaborative projects such as the Typhoon/Euro fighter and those awarded by the Ministry of Defences Trading Funds.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|