|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes her Department plans to make to the Access to Work programme in support of the Government's Valuing Employment Now strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 21 October 2009]: The Government are fully committed to ensuring that individuals are able to achieve their full potential and ambitions for work. This includes providing services which better meet the needs of the Public Service Agreement 16 customer group, which includes people with moderate to severe learning disabilities.
With this in mind, the Government launched 'Valuing Employment Now: real jobs for people with learning disabilities' on 24 June 2009. Our aspiration is to close the gap between the employment rate for people with learning disabilities and that of the disabled population as a whole. In real terms this means an extra 45,000 people with learning disabilities in employment.
Access to Work is an important specialist disability employment service delivered by Jobcentre Plus, and therefore will be vital in achieving this aspiration. We are currently exploring how we can ensure that the programme provides the most flexible, responsive and appropriate support for all customers, and to ensure that the funding is focussed on those who need it most, including customers with learning disabilities.
Currently customers are limited to 26 weeks of job coach support. From this autumn we will be making the programme more flexible to ensure that people who require further job coaching can access the service for longer. We anticipate this will be particularly helpful for customers with learning disabilities.
In making the changes to job coaching rules for Access to Work, we will ensure that customers who would be better supported by other provisions such as WORKSTEP and its successor Work Choice (from October 2010) are referred to the most appropriate service for their needs.
The Welfare Reform White Paper 'Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future' contained a commitment to double the Access to Work budget from £69 million to £138 million by 2013-14. This was a confirmation of the announcement originally made in the Welfare Reform Green Paper 'No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility'.
In addition, Access to Work customers have been able to apply for support to participate in a Jobcentre Plus Work Trial since 1 April 2009. Work Trials give customers the opportunity to 'try out' work, and also builds employer confidence in their ability to do the job. Work Trials can last from a few days to six weeks and because there is a genuine job vacancy at the end they are a direct route into paid employment. This may be another route in to meaningful work for people with learning disabilities.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on which initiatives of (a) her Department and (b) its agencies expenditure on advertising has been incurred in each of the last five years; how much was spent on each such initiative; and which such initiatives were advertised through the Central Office of Information. 
Jim Knight: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given to Baroness Thomas of Winchester on 21 August 2009 (PQ 09 5337). The Hansard reference is Official Report, House of Lords, 5 October 2009, columns WA439-40.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what flexi-time arrangements were available to staff of her Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each year. 
Jim Knight: The Department's policy is to offer staff access to flexible working hours where it fits in with business needs. Where access to a flexible working hours scheme is given, it means that with agreement staff can:
Vary their times of arrival and departure from work
Vary the length and timing of their lunch break
Take time off under the terms of their flexi-time scheme
Part-time-which means that staff work and are paid for less than full-time hours
As part of a jobshare which usually involves two people each employed on a part-time basis, but working together to cover a full-time post
Compressed hours by which staff work their total hours over a shorter period eg full weekly hours over four days rather than five
Term-time working allowing staff to take unpaid leave during the school holidays
The Department does not centrally collect statistical data on the number of staff who participate in flexi-time
arrangements. The cost of extracting this information in the format requested would be at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of procurement contracts (a) her Department and (b) its agencies awarded to small businesses in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08, (iii) 2008-09 and (iv) 2009-10; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: Information on the number and percentage of contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in a year is not maintained by the Department for Work and Pensions and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. As part of the DWP Commercial Strategy, the Department tracks centrally the number of SMEs the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies does business with in each financial year and the amount it spends with each supplier. This process does not break these figures down into individual agency or NDPB. In 2008-09 the number of SMEs that had contracts with the Department was 9,212 and the total expenditure with them was £429.7 million or 11.2 per cent. of total DWP procurement expenditure in the year. The latest available figures for 2009-10 are £239.3 million or 11.4 per cent. of total procurement expenditure in the period April to end September 2009.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money was re-allocated from her Department to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and for what reason in each case. 
(a) The Department for Work and Pensions transferred £645,000 for 2008-09 to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor, of which £330,000 was in respect of the extension of compensation to all sufferers of Mesothelioma, and £315,000 in respect of the Government Skills Strategy.
(b) The Department for Work and Pensions transferred £975,000 for 2009-10 to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor, of which £660,000 was in respect of the extension of compensation to all sufferers of Mesothelioma, and £315,000 in respect of the Government Skills Strategy.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) who has responsibility for identifying the sectors in which opportunities will be created under the sectoral routeway element of the Young Person's Guarantee; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what her estimate is of the number of training opportunities in each (a) work sector and (b) region that will be available in each of the next 18 months under the sectoral routeway element of the Young Person's Guarantee; and if she will make a statement; 
Jim Knight: Jobcentre Plus is working in partnership with the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils and individual Sector Skills Councils in order to identify the labour market sectors that have the potential to provide sectoral routeways.
Care First Careers, a joint Department for Work and Pensions initiative with the Department for Health and the Devolved Administrations, is a sector specific initiative to help 50,000 young people into work in the adult social care sector. The scheme is being piloted in the following four Jobcentre Plus Districts:
South West Wales;
Cheshire, Warrington and Halton;
South Tyne and Wear Valley; and
Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has funding for approximately 37,000 training places in England to March 2011 and is contracting for these using a staged approach. The LSC is now nearing the conclusion of the commissioning process for the first 30,200 places which will be in the following sectors:
Travel and tourism;
|Young Persons Guarantee: Sector Routeways (Routes into Work) Pre-Employment Training Volumes for the period from November 2009 to March 2011|
| Sources: 1. Department for Work and Pensions. 2. Department for Business Innovation and Skills. 3. Learning and Skills Council.|
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many external training courses were attended by staff of her Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of attendances at each such course. 
Jim Knight: Information about on how many external training courses were attended by DWP staff and associated costs is not held centrally, as a consequence the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people over the age of 50 years and claiming jobseeker's allowance have found employment through Jobcentre Plus in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each of the last five years. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many people over the age of 50 years and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance have found employment through Jobcentre Plus in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each of the last five years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus
The available information is in the tables. The information relates to the number of people over 50 recorded as going into employment through the Job Outcome dataset. It excludes those going into self employment. The latest figures are to January 2009.
|Number of people over 50 who have found employment through Jobcentre Plus by Jobcentre Plus Region|
|2004-5||2005-6||2006-7||2007-8||( 1) 2008-9|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|