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John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in (a) Leeds West constituency, (b) Leeds Metropolitan District and (c) the UK are receiving the 25 pence age allowance. 
|State pension claimants getting age addition as at September 2007|
1. Data is taken from 5 per cent. extracts of the Pensions Strategy Computer System, therefore figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation. They are also adjusted to be consistent with the overall caseload from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.
2. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
3. Local authorities are allocated using the Office for National Statistics postcode directory.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what capacity his Department has to react quickly in the event of a rapid increase in unemployment in a particular economic sub-region. 
Mr. McNulty: Jobcentre Plus offers a proactive service which can respond flexibly to increases in unemployment in a particular area. For example, when Jobcentre Plus is notified of an upcoming redundancy situation in a particular locality, it makes contact with the employer to find out more about the scale and timing of the redundancies and to offer support relevant to the employers and employees needs. A range of support can be provided including information about alternative jobs and how best to source them; matching employees to current vacancies; offering on-site job shops and fairs; helping people draw-up CVs and brush-up their jobsearch skills; providing information about in and out of work benefits/tax credits; and facilitating the process of taking jobseekers allowance claims where this is needed.
Jobcentre Plus works with partners such as the Learning and Skills Council, Skills Development Scotland, and the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (Wales), local development agencies and business organisations to ensure a co-ordinated response. Where a redundancy situation is particularly large relative to the size of the local labour market, additional rapid response funding is available, alongside funding from partner organisations, to provide additional help such
as an individual skills analysis to help identify transferable skills and gaps; job-focused training to help individuals develop vocational skills; and an action fund to overcome individual barriers to work.
Many people who experience redundancy find alternative work quickly, but individuals who need to make a claim for jobseekers allowance are provided with support to help them maintain their attachment to the labour market and look for work effectively. Most jobseekers allowance claimants find another job quicklyover half of people making a new claim leave jobseekers allowance within three months and three quarters within six months. In addition to mainstream services and programmes, specialist support is also available including help with literacy, numeracy or language skills through the Learning and Skills Councils Employment Skills Programme; access to programme centres which provide help with jobsearch skills, confidence and motivation and soft skills associated with the world of work; and fast-tracking to the new deal for those that need it.
Mr. McNulty: Information on unemployment at national and regional level is published monthly by the Office for National Statistics. Latest figures show that in the most recent period unemployment has risen nationally on both the ILO and claimant measures and the trends at regional level have been broadly similar.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many work focused interviews have been conducted in each month since their introduction, broken down by region. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
We are unable to provide information prior to April 2006. The tables in the annex provide the total number of Work Focused Interviews that have taken place monthly since April 2006, by region.
|Jobcentre plusIncapacity benefit/Lone parent WFIs|
|Periods||East of England||East Midlands||London||North East||North West||Scotland||South East||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorks and Humber|
1. The table includes all incapacity benefit and lone parent work focused interviews conducted between April 2006 and September 2008 (latest available data) broken down by month and Region.
2. There was a database prior to April 2006 called the Activity Based Information database (ABI). However, this database only included limited information on adviser interviews. For 2003/04 and 2004/05 only new deal appointments were included. In 2005/06 more advisory appointments were included. However they were not as comprehensive and wide ranging as the ABM data.
Jobcentre Plus Activity Based Management (ABM) database.
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