Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with which providers (a) her Department and (b) its agencies had a contract to provide postal services in (i) 2007, (ii) 2008, (iii) between 1 January 2009 and 1 July 2009 and (iv) since 1 July 2009. 
|(iii) 1 January 2009 to 1 July 2009
|(iv) 1 July 2009 onwards
Jim Knight: As a matter of course, the Department for Work and Pensions publishes statistics from all of its datasets which meet the definition of "official statistics" set out in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The statistics are published in accordance with the requirements set out in the "Code of Practice for Official Statistics" and the "National Statistician's Guidance on the Presentation and Publication of Official Statistics".
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 13 October 2008, Official Report, column 880W, on disability living allowance, what the latest figures are for the number of persons claiming the mobility component of disability living allowance in respect of each type of disability; and how much was paid to claimants with each disability type at the (a) higher and (b) lower rate. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons the terms and conditions of the Directgov website prohibit photocopying of individual pages downloaded from the site. 
"Crown copyright protected material (other than the Royal Arms and departmental or agency logos and photography) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium, provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context".
Each Government service provided through Directgov may be subject to its own unique set of terms and conditions, which are based on the service offer, as well as the provision of third party datasets, which may restrict the use of specific datasets.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of claimants of employment and support allowance had completed their work capability assessment within (a) one and four weeks, (b) five and eight weeks and (c) nine and 13 weeks of the start of their claim on the latest date for which figures are available; what the average waiting time has been for a work capability assessment for claimants of employment and support allowance to be concluded; and what the average time taken between the undertaking of a work capability assessment and a decision maker's decision was. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 26 October 2009]: The latest reliable cohort of ESA claims were for claims starting in April 2009. We use this cohort to estimate Atos advice timings of the assessment process:
There were 100 (1 per cent.) completed within four weeks.
An additional 2,100 (8 per cent.) were completed between five and eight weeks.
An additional 9,700 (37 per cent.) were completed between nine and 13 weeks.
Customers are able to backdate claims to before they first contact Jobcentre Plus and backdating was on average two weeks for incapacity benefit and it is expected that this will be the same for ESA. Therefore, the figures above show the technical time between when the claim was made and the completed Work Capability Assessment but the true time that Jobcentre Plus and Atos have to work cases may be shorter.
A more accurate reflection of the amount of cases that pass through the process within 13 weeks would be determined by taking into account factors, such as, the time taken to return paperwork, whether their condition can be assessed on paper based evidence alone, whether further medical evidence is required or requested and whether a customer actually attends their initial appointment or it has to be re-scheduled. This information is not currently available but we will continue to undertake analysis of performance as the ESA regime beds in.
Data are based on time from claim start to completion of advice provided by Atos Healthcare. ESA claimants can backdate their claim before the time they first contact Jobcentre Plus to make a claim. Timings will therefore include any backdating of claims. For IB claims the average length of time claims were backdated was around two weeks and we expect the length to be similar for ESA claims. We do not hold information centrally on the time taken from Atos advice to the JCP decision maker's final decision.
WCA assessments take a number of weeks to complete and will assess a broad range of people whose assessments will take longer or shorter to complete depending on the details of their claim, such as: time taken to return paperwork, whether their condition can be assessed on paper based evidence alone, whether additional evidence is required and whether a claimant attends their initial appointment or it has to be re-scheduled. This inevitably means there are a number of claims in any cohort which are still outstanding many weeks after the start of the claim. The response takes a pragmatic approach by using the latest cohort we can reliably use that we do not expect includes a large number of un-cleared cases (by comparison with earlier cohorts which are more fully cleared), i.e. ESA claims which began in April 2009. Theses timings may change slightly if we reassess them at a later date as more assessments are completed.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when she plans to introduce (a) a skills screen for employment and support allowance claimants after the start of a claim and (b) a mandatory skills health check at a later point in their claim when appropriate; 
Jim Knight: Skills screening has already been introduced for all new jobseeker's allowance claimants. In the 12 Jobcentre Plus districts involved in trialling integrated employment and skills services, JSA claimants who have not attended a skills health check on a voluntary basis by week 26 of their claim are mandated to do so.
Lone parent customers are not encompassed by IES trials activity and therefore do not receive skills screening or a referral to skills health checks. Although lone parent income support claimants may attend a skills health check on a voluntary basis, no data is currently collected.
No decisions have as yet been made about the introduction of skills screening and health checks for customer groups other than JSA claimants. This will be considered as part of planning for the national implementation of an integrated employment and skills service for JSA customers in 2010-11.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether decisions relating to individuals' requirements for a second medical assessment for employment support allowance may be made by persons other than Ministers; and if she will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: Customers dissatisfied with a medical examination undertaken by the DWP medical services provider, Atos Healthcare, are advised to contact the Atos Healthcare national customer relations team with their concerns. All complaints of dissatisfaction with a medial examination received by Atos Healthcare are investigated and complaints which relate to the medical examination are scrutinised by an experienced senior disability analyst doctor to ensure that the medical report is reasonable and justifiable. Where a medical report is found to be deficient, the national customer relations team at Atos Healthcare will advise the DWP decision maker of the deficiencies. It is the DWP who are responsible for requesting Atos Healthcare to undertake a secondary medical examination if they feel it is necessary.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the most recent estimate is of the average cost to her Department of a work experience placement for an 18 to 24-year-old jobseeker. 
Jim Knight: The cost of work experience placements vary depending on their length and design. The Department is introducing work experience placements through the Community Task Force and Backing Young Britain. Work experience placements are also currently delivered through the New Deal for Young People. Details on these placements and their costs are provided as follows.
From January 2010 the Department is implementing the Community Task Force to provide work experience placements for young people of up to 26 weeks as part of the Young Person's Guarantee. The following table shows the indicative budget and indicative number of starts published in the Community Task Force phase 1 Invitation to Tender, and the indicative budget divided by indicative starts.(1)
The table also shows the expected costs of work experience placements delivered as part of Backing Young Britain which was announced on 29 July 2009. The work experience placements will become available from early 2010 and will last for two weeks.
|Indicative expected total programme expenditure January 2010 to September 2011 (£ million)
|I ndicative total number of expected starts
|Indicative average cost per person (£ million)
|(1) The number of indicative Community Task Force (CTF) starts includes young people undertaking 13 weeks of work experience, young people undertaking an addition 13-week period of work experience and young people undertaking a period of work experience to complete their period of full-time activity under the Young Person's Guarantee (YPG).
(2) Figures up to March 2011.
In addition, the New Deal for Young People provides 13-week work experience placements through the Voluntary and Environment Task Force Options. The average costs of these options is summarised in the following table:
|Total programme expenditure in 2008-09 (£ million)
|Total number of recorded starts
|Average cost per person (£ million)
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the number of people who have received assistance from the Government's support for unemployed professionals and executives in each month since April 2009. 
Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps she is taking to provide opportunities for training and education for unemployed people with (a) learning disabilities and (b) other disabilities. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions is committed to building pan-disability services for its customers, where provision is flexible and based on individual need, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.
The Department for Work and Pensions current range of disability employment provision in place across England, Scotland and Wales, including Pathways to Work, Work Preparation and Workstep already offer disabled customers the chance to improve their skills and knowledge in areas such as job search, confidence building, CV and interview preparation, work placements and as an employee in supported employment.
In addition, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have jointly developed an employment and skills strategy to improve and integrate the employment and skills services to better help customers identify and gain the skills they need to find sustainable employment and progress in work and learning.
An integrated employment and skills service is being trialled in 12 Jobcentre Plus districts in England designed to meet the needs of those groups who are at a disadvantage in the labour market, including disabled people, to provide a customised service to the individual.
A new universal adult advancement and careers service is being trialled now and will be rolled out in England from autumn 2010. The service is available to all adults (not just Jobcentre Plus customers) and is targeted at the most disadvantaged in the labour market, including people with a learning disability or any other disability.