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In June 2009, "Valuing Employment Now" was launched in England. This cross-Government strategy sets out an ambitious goal to increase radically the number of people with learning disabilities in employment by 2025. We aspire to close the gap between the employment rate of adults with moderate and severe learning disabilities and that of the disabled population as a whole.
Foundation learning, to be launched in April 2010 in England, for people with learning disabilities, will be of considerable help and support to them in the labour market. It will establish a structured curriculum leading to employment pathways and enhance opportunities for supported employment.
Apprenticeships in England are available to everyone and can help remove barriers to employment, providing additional support to enable people to train. Flexibilities are available to employers/providers to make it easier for a disabled person to gain entry to an apprenticeship.
On 30 October, we announced that 14 sites in England will take part in a Government evaluation of Project Search from next September. Project Search provides a series of internships with an employer for people with learning disabilities and helps them to develop the work and social skills they need to access real jobs.
The Department for Work and Pensions also currently contracts with nine residential training colleges to deliver a training programme through specialist services, facilities, learning and employment support, for disabled people facing the most significant or complex barriers to finding and keeping work. Provision includes qualification-based courses of vocational training leading to nationally recognised qualifications alongside job search and placements or work experience.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Health to reduce the number of benefit recipients who have chronic debilitating conditions being brought into the productive workforce. 
Jim Knight: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions met with the Secretary of State for Health recently and their discussion included what support is available for disabled people and those with health conditions, including Pathways to Work and the Condition Management Programme. Further details will be set out in the Back to Work White Paper.
Evidence shows that being out of work is bad for physical and mental health-while being in work generally leads to improved health outcomes and ultimately helps disabled people and those with health conditions live fulfilling and independent lives.
From 27 October 2008, we replaced incapacity benefits for new customers with the employment and support allowance. The employment and support allowance has a revised medical assessment, the work capability assessment, which focuses on what people can do, as well as what they cannot.
There is absolutely no intention of forcing those who can not work into jobs. We will not require anybody on employment and support allowance to apply for or take up specific jobs. The work capability assessment identifies those customers who should, and who should not, be expected to prepare to return to work.
Those in the work-related activity group are expected to engage with a personalised programme of support. This will help them to move into employment as soon as they are ready. The evidence of the beneficial impact of work, including for those with a health condition or disability, is too strong to ignore.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents have received support and guidance from personal advisers since it became available nationally for all lone parents once they have moved into work. 
14,720 eligible lone parents have received In Work Advisory Support from personal advisers once they moved into work between 26 August 2008 and the end of September 2009, the most recent period for which figures are available.
Jim Knight: As a condition of local authority led partnerships receiving Future Jobs Fund funding they explicitly had to agree to complete a worklessness assessment and a work and skills plan by April 2010.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many successful Future Jobs Fund bids there have been; what estimate she has made of the (a) minimum and (b) maximum number of jobs to be created under such bids; and how many such jobs are open for applications. 
Tranche 1 up to 75,400
Tranche 2 up to 7,500
Tranche 3 up to 4,400
Tranche 4 up to 7,200 (Tranche 4 figure does not include Scotland which will be announced on 12 November)
We will be publishing official statistics on the number of people participating in the Future Jobs Fund in spring 2010. Until then data regarding how many such jobs are open for applications are not available.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people resident in Peterborough constituency were in receipt of housing benefit on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claiming (a) incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) income support started the claim before 1997. 
|Numbers claiming benefits continuously since 1996, by benefit: Great Britain as at February 2009|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. For the purposes of presenting the statistics in this table, benefits are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to the topmost benefit which they receive:
(i) Jobseeker's Allowance-Claimant of Job Seekers Allowance.
(ii) Incapacity Benefits-Claimant of either Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance.
(iii) Income Support-claimants include lone parents (claimant of income support with a child under 16 and no partner), carer's allowance (in this case must also be receiving income support) and others on income related benefit-other income support claimants (including IS disability premiums).
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the charge per minute is of a telephone call to Jobseekers Direct from (a) at BT landline, (b) a landline operated by another provider and (c) a mobile telephone; and which organisation holds the contract for operating the Jobseekers Direct telephone service on behalf of Jobcentre Plus. 
Jim Knight: The Department's strategy is that calls to claim benefit should be free to a customer so it uses 0800 freephone numbers for these calls. For calls for other reasons, including Jobseekers Direct, which typically take less time to resolve, the Department uses 0845 numbers.
BT, the largest landline provider, does not charge for 0845 calls where the customer has a call plan and the call is made within the call plan times. Where this is not the case, charges are typically in the range of 2p to 4p per minute.
For calls to 0845 numbers from mobiles, research carried out earlier this year shows charges are typically in the range of 10p to 40p per minute, depending on the package chosen. These rates can vary as mobile providers change their charging policy.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what training is provided to frontline staff in Jobcentre Plus on awareness of autism. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
There is no single set of procedures to be followed by advisers which are solely focused on helping people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder into work. Jobcentre Plus policy is to develop its staff in the skills required to support a range of customers and to respect their individual needs, including those related to their health conditions. This approach ensures that they are equipped to deal with a diverse set of circumstances whilst treating customers as individuals. Skilled employment advisers look at the interaction between the person, the job and the person's ability. Advisers ensure that job goals relate to the person's abilities and that relevant solutions are identified in order to overcome any barriers a customer might face in a particular job.
The learning programme for Jobcentre Plus advisers focuses on raising awareness of the customer's personal circumstances and the impact on their ability to move into a sustainable job. Jobcentre Plus also recognises that disabilities and health conditions can affect individuals in different ways and will change overtime. Guidance for advisers includes background information on a number of conditions, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, the implications for interviews and how to use questioning techniques in order to support customers. Disability Employment Advisers, who focus on customers needing more extensive support, receive further levels of skills training appropriate to their customers, including skills practice in interviewing an autistic person to ensure key learning points are communicated in an effective way.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when she plans to reply to the letter of 15 September 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Burt; 
Jim Knight: Due to the complexities of the issues raised it has not been possible to reply to my right hon. Friend's correspondence as speedily as we would have wished. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will write to my right hon. Friend as soon as she is able to provide a full response to the issues he has raised on behalf of his constituent.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she expects to reply to the hon. Member for North Essex's letter of 28 September 2009 on his constituent Mr. Mark Esquilant's requirement for a second medical assessment for employment support allowance; for what reasons the letter was sent on to Atos Origin for reply; and if she will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 11 November 2009. The hon. Member's letter of 28 September 2009 was not passed to Atos Origin for reply. However, Atos Origin was contacted in order to gather information and establish factual circumstances around Mr. Esquilant's complaint.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to respond to
question 296734, on Child Support Agency staff, tabled on 28 October 2009. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have found employment as a result of participating in the New Deal in (a) Vale of Clwyd and (b) each region in each year since its implementation. 
|Jobs gained through New Deal: Vale of Clwyd parliamentary constituency Part 1|
|Jobs gained through New Deal: Vale of Clwyd parliamentary constituency Part 2|
|2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||( 1) 2009||Total|
| Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate.|
|Jobs gained through New Deal: Jobcentre Plus Region Part 1|
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