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Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his policy on the positioning of employment offices.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it is its policy to replace employment offices by jobcentres located in premises in town centre positions, where there is substantial passing pedestrian traffic. The first evaluation of the jobcentre programme has confirmed that effective siting is a key factor in increasing the use made of the service and the cost effectiveness.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the relevant eligibility conditions referred to in his written reply on 26th May to the hon. Member for Wallasey on the financial assistance available for travelling to job interviews by unemployed persons.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that under the job search scheme an unemployed worker, or a worker under threat of redundancy, may be granted a free return fare to an interview for a job subject to satisfaction of the following conditions: (1) the job is full-time, non-seasonal work in Great Britain under a contract of service; (2) the job and the interview are both beyond reasonable daily travelling distance of the worker's home; (3) the job is not with an employer for whom the applicant has worked in the previous two months; (4) the gross remuneration, excluding casual overtime, of the job does not exceed £4,400 a year —£84·62 a week; (5) the employer will not pay the fare; (6) it has been confirmed that there is a vacancy and the applicant is considered suitable and has a good chance of getting the job; (7) the job seeker has not already had a free fare for a previous interview for the same job.Workers who do not live in assisted areas must satisfy the additional conditions that there is no reasonable prospect of suitable employment within daily travelling distance, and no suitably qualified unemployed labour available in the area where they are looking for work.