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16 Dec 2009 : Column 1148W—continued

Departmental Recruitment

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of jobs advertised by her Department in the last 12 months were online only applications; and what provision her Department makes for those wishing to apply for jobs in her Department who do not have access to the internet. [301540]

Jim Knight: None of the vacancies advertised in the last 12 months were limited to online applications. We encourage the majority of candidates to apply online however, where the candidate has a disability, or other reason for being unable to complete an online application, a paper application is accepted.

Departmental Telephone Services

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0870, (b) 0845 and (c) 0800 her Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls were received to each number in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at the BT local rate are available in each case. [305212]

Jim Knight: The information is as follows:

(i) As at 7 December 2009, the Department for Work and Pensions operates the following lines.


16 Dec 2009 : Column 1149W

Lines

(a) 0870

13

(b) 0845

6,060

(c) 0800

154


(ii) All lines are 'operated' by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); there are no 'sponsored' lines.

With reference to the number of calls received by each 08XX number, the complexity of the Department's telephony network and our current billing arrangement with our service provider, BT, does not provide us with this data as the Department does not require it. To provide it, the Department would need to submit a formal request to BT to give us an estimate of the cost of supplying this data. This could not be done within the time scales of this question.

Alternative numbers are not available. 0800/0845 numbers are integral to the Department's telephony strategy and underpin the delivery of good customer service. The 0800 and 0845 numbers are clearly signposted to customers for the services that they wish to access and the service is organised so that the customer is routed to the best agent to help with their call.

The Department's telephony strategy is that calls to claim benefit should be free to customers so it uses 0800 free phone numbers for these calls. The great majority of the Department's customers use landlines to contact the Department's 0800 free phone lines where the calls are free. The Department uses 0845 telephone numbers where its customers call for other reasons, and these are calls typically that take less time to resolve. The charges that apply to these calls will be set by the customer's telephone or mobile operator.

Where a customer calling our 0800 or 0845 services asks us, or raises concerns over the cost of the call, we offer to call them back.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received support from an advocate when applying for employment and support allowance in the latest period for which figures are available. [304772]

Jim Knight: Information on claimants receiving support from an advocate is not available.

Employment and Support Allowance: Medical Examinations

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the (a) unit cost and (b) cost to date of conducting the medical assessment process associated with employment and support allowance delivered under the Atos Healthcare contract; and if she will make a statement. [305269]

Jim Knight: The cost to date of conducting the medical assessment process associated with Employment and Support Allowance is £36.2 million covering the period up to 25 November 2009. This covers the costs of the medical assessments including Work Focused Health Related Assessments, gathering information from customers
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and health care professionals, investments in information technology and Estates infrastructure, overheads and set-up costs.

DWP is unable to disclose the unit cost of individual medical assessments as to do so would jeopardise the Department's commercial interests and dealings with Atos Healthcare or other service providers when negotiating future re-tenders.

New Deal Schemes

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of jobseekers aged between 18 and 24 years old have gone off benefits without finding a job (a) before and (b) after completing a New Deal Gateway to Work course. [303029]

Jim Knight: The information requested is not available.

Scientists

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) scientific advisers and (b) civil servants in scientific posts there are in her Department. [302021]

Jim Knight: There are no external scientific advisers in the Department for Work and Pensions, however, there are three civil servants within the Department employed in posts which require them to give scientific advice. The Department also employs a number of statisticians, economists, social researchers and operational researchers but these are not classified as scientific posts.

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions she has met (a) the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and (b) her Department's Chief Scientific Adviser in the course of her official duties in the last 12 months. [304004]

Jim Knight: The Department's chief scientific adviser is also the Department's chief medical adviser and health work and well-being policy director and in these different capacities has had numerous meetings with the Secretary of State during the last 12 months. During the same period, the Secretary of State has had no meetings with the Government's chief scientific adviser.

Unemployment Benefits

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of young people in each (a) region, (b) constituency and (c) local authority area are claiming out of work benefits. [306373]

Jim Knight [holding answer 14 December 2009]: The available information has been placed in the Library.

Unemployment: Essex

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in Castle Point constituency had been claiming jobseeker's allowance for (a) less than six months, (b) between six and 12 months, (c) between 12 months and two years and (d) more than two years on the latest date for which information is available; [307503]


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(2) what the average length of time was for which a claimant resident in Castle Point constituency to be in receipt of jobseeker's allowance in each of the last (a) 12 months and (b) five years; [307504]

(3) how many people aged between 16 and 24 years in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point had been unemployed for over (i) six and (ii) 12 months in each of the last six months; [307505]

(4) how many people aged between 16 and 24 years in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point constituency were unemployed in (i) May 1997 and (ii) each of the last six months for which figures are available. [307509]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated December 2009:


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Table 1: Number of persons( 1) resident in Castle Point claiming jobseeker's allowance by length of claim, October 2009

Number

Up to 26 weeks

1,265

Over 26 weeks up to 52 weeks

400

Over 52 weeks up to 104 weeks

115

Over 104 weeks

20

(1) Length of claim data are only available for computerised claims, which account for 99.7 per cent. of all claims.
Note:
Data rounded to nearest five.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.

Table 2: Median length of claim of jobseeker's allowance of persons( 1) resident in Castle Point constituency

Median length of claim (months)

October 2004

11.2

October 2005

11.8

October 2006

12.8

October 2007

11.1

October 2008

8.9

November 2008

8.2

December 2008

8.6

January 2009

9.3

February 2009

9.6

March 2009

10.7

April 2009

11.0

May 2009

12.5

June 2009

13.6

July 2009

14.1

August 2009

13.8

September 2009

13.7

October 2009

13.1

(1) Length of claim data are only available for computerised claims, which account for 99.7 per cent. of all claims.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.

Table 3: Number of persons( 1) age 16 to 24 claiming jobseeker's allowance by duration of claim
Essex Castle Point

Over 26 weeks Over 52 weeks Over 26 weeks Over 52 weeks

May 2009

1,450

110

80

5

June 2009

1,575

125

80

5

July 2009

1,535

140

85

5

August 2009

1,680

150

85

10

September 2009

1,525

160

75

10

October 2009

1,390

160

75

10

(1) Length of claim data are only available for computerised claims, which account for 99.7 per cent. of all claims.
Note:
Data rounded to nearest five.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.


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Table 4: Number of persons age 16 to 24 claiming jobseeker's allowance resident in Essex and Castle Point

Essex Castle Point

May 1997

6,135

425

May 2009

8,520

595

June 2009

8,240

545

July 2009

8,440

565

August 2009

8,600

570

September 2009

8,420

580

October 2009

8,385

560

Note:
Data rounded to nearest five.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.

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