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The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what targets are set for Jobcentre Plus Contact Centre telephone operators. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus currently has 31 Contact Centres offering telephony services to our customers. The services delivered are:
Jobseeker Directindividuals can get help finding work;
Employer Directwhere employers can place vacancies with us;
First Contactwhere information is collected to support claims to benefit;
National Insurance Numberfor customers requiring a NINO;
National Benefit Fraud Hotlinefor anyone wishing to report benefit theft; and
Social Fundcustomers can call to apply for a crisis loan.
Jobcentre Plus Contact Centres contribute to six national Jobcentre Plus targets:
Job Outcome Target (JOT)JOT is the measure of our success in helping people in to work. It is based on an automated reporting system, which reports movements into work and off benefit by matching Jobcentre Plus and HMRC data;
Customer Service TargetThis measures Jobcentre Plus performance in meeting the standards and commitments set out in the organisation's customer and employer charters;
Monetary Value of Fraud and ErrorContact Centre Directorate has a direct impact on this target by taking appropriate action when fraud is suspected during interaction with the customer and more specifically through the referrals that are generated from calls to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline;
Average Actual Clearance Timesis measured through the processing of claims within specified average actual clearance times, for Incapacity benefit, Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance18 days, 11 days and 12 days respectively;
Employer Outcome Targetis measured through a survey of employers perceptions of the service they have received from Jobcentre Plus in terms of whether the vacancy was filled, if it was filled within an acceptable time scale and if customers submitted to the vacancies matched the employers' requirements; and
Interventions Delivery Targetis a measure of the efficiency of Jobcentre Plus in booking customers in for work-focused interviews within set timescales to provide effective employment support and advice.
Contact Centres are measured against a range of internal performance indicators which support and underpin the Jobcentre Plus targets. All Contact Centre Customer Service Agents have key work objectives which are put in place to support, contribute and feed into the achievement of the six national Jobcentre Plus targets.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants have been claiming for (a) three months, (b) six months, (c) 12 months, (d) 18 months, (e) two years, (f) three years, (g) four years and (h) five years, including any period for which a person may have been on the New Deal but returned to JSA immediately afterwards; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of people on job seekers allowance who have spent (a) more than two of the last five years and (b) more than two of the last three years on out-of-work benefits. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The additional information on spells on the new deal is not available except at disproportionate costs. Following is a table showing information on continuous spells of claimant unemployment.
|Jobseekers allowance claimants by continuous duration of claim, Great Britain and United Kingdom: November 2007|
|Number of claimants:|
|Duration of claim||GB||UK|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.
2. Figures are based on computer held cases only.
Of those claimants whose continuous claim exceeds two years about half of the group are made up of those aged 50 plus. Up until April 2007 our customers aged 50 plus were not required to participate in the mandatory intensive activity period when on new deal 25 plus and so a stock of two year plus has built up. We now mandate all our customers to take part, and they will take up training allowances during any activity periods.
A quarter of the group are those who have entered employment zones (EZs). Unlike the mandatory JSA new deals, customers participating in employment zones are not required to participate in full time activity and so need not break the JSA claim. EZ customers remain on JSA throughout the programme either until they leave benefit or they return to the standard JSA regime. It is therefore possible that some of the very hardest to help (despite significant intervention) remain unemployed beyond two years.
A smaller group (about 8,000) are those that have been exempted from taking part in new deal and the mandatory option or intensive activity period (this stage would ordinarily take them from JSA on to a training allowance). Customers are exempted at the discretion of an adviser manager for reasons such as being a potentially violent customer, suffering from a serious drink or drug addiction, have a drink or drug addiction which is improving and progress to work provision is underway or those with mental health issues. The number of exclusions on new deal has increased over recent years. Following the work of a Jobcentre Plus led new deal task and finish group in 2007, the number and reason for exclusions is being more closely monitored.
In regard to all claimants referred to we expect that a proportion of the cases are due to administrative error or a delay in a jobseeker entering provision promptly (for which sanctions can be applied). Jobcentre Plus is continually looking at ways of how we can reduce such error and has made significant in roads to reduce the number of overstayers ie those delaying their progress on new deal, down from 17 per cent. in June 2006, to now less than 5 per cent.
A stepped programme of support will be available for all customers from day one.
The successful new deal gateway will be refreshed and introduced for all customers from six months of a claim (bringing that support forward by 12 months for those 25 and over).
All those reaching 12 months unemployment will enter the flexible new deal, receiving intensive support from a specialist provider. During this time with a provider we expect all customers will enter work or participate in some form of full time activity increasing the chances of work.
A high proportion moving into work will reduce the numbers who might otherwise have reached two years. Entering other full time activity will act to prevent the remainder from crossing the two year threshold.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance numbers were issued to (a) UK, (b) EU and (c) non-EU citizens between (i) 1 April 2002 and 31 December 2003 and (ii) 1 January 2004 and the most recent date for which figures are available; and which 10 nationalities received the most national insurance numbers in each period. 
The majority of UK nationals are registered with national insurance numbers (NINOs) as part of the juvenile registration process just prior to the age of 16. Some UK nationals apply for a NINO as adults and would go through the adult NINO allocation process. The data are not held in a format which allows us to extract a figure for UK nationals.
The number of foreign nationals registered with NINOs does not indicate either the number of migrants coming to the UK or the number of foreign nationals in employment. The national insurance figures count all foreign nationals, including those who stay only briefly. Office for National Statistics immigration statistics define a migrant as someone who stays in the UK for at least a year. Equally, ONS figures are not restricted to arrivals allocated a NINO, for example, non-working students, and family members not requiring a national insurance number.
|Period||Juvenile registration volumes (thousand)|
1. Source data is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs national insurance recording system (NIRS2) management information.
2. Reporting period for juvenile registration is 1 April to 31 March.
3. For the majority of juveniles the registration process takes place just prior to the 16th birthday. However, some juveniles may initially miss out on this process, but can be recorded as part of this process until the age of 19.
4. There may be a small number of young foreign nationals who obtain a national insurance number through the juvenile registration process. These will not appear in the foreign nationals totals for adult national insurance number registrations. However, the majority of juvenile registrations are for UK nationals.
The numbers in the following table are sourced from figures already in the public domain. They are published via DWP's National Statistics First Release National Insurance Number Allocations to Overseas Nationals entering the UK 2006/07.
1. Source data is the 100 per cent DWP Extract from the National Insurance Recording System.
2. Annual periods relate to 6 April to 5 April.
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Some additional disclosure control has been applied. Totals may not sum due to rounding method used.
4. In order to produce a consistent time series, nationality is classified as EU or non-EU according to the country's status in 2006-07.
5. These figures do not include a small number of people (historically between 500 and 800 per year) who are recorded as foreign nationals but whose nationality is unknown.
The top 10 nationalities (excluding UK nationals) with the most adult national insurance number registrations for the latest four years available (2003-04 to 2006-07) are published in table 3 on page 16 of the report National Insurance Number Allocations to Overseas Nationals entering the UK (previously Migrant Workers Statistics) 2007: Full Report on the Department's website at:
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which 10 nationalities hold the greatest number of UK national insurance numbers ranked in order of numbers held; how many numbers are held in each case; and what percentage each figure is of the total number of national insurance registrations. 
The top 10 nationalities (excluding UK nationals) with the most adult national insurance number registrations for the latest year available (2006-2007) are published in table three on page 16 of the report National Insurance Number Allocations to Overseas Nationals entering the UK (previously Migrant Workers Statistics) 2007: Full Report on the Department's website at:
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