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Long-Term Unemployment

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North, Official Report, 9 July, whether he is satisfied that sufficient supervision and guidance is given to the long-term unemployed; and if he will consider introducing more frequent interviews, with more emphasis on training or retraining as well as increasing the job opportunities under the special temporary employment programme.

The Manpower Services Commission has recently published a comprehensive review of the aims, objectives and priorities of the public employment service in which proposals are made for improving advisory and guidance services for unemployed people and other job seekers. These proposals are now being considered.Great emphasis is placed by the public employment service on bringing training opportunities to the attention of all job-seekers including the long term unemployed. Trained employment advisers identify potentially suitable applicants and this is backed up by extensive marketing and publicity. Over 90 per cent. of applicants for courses under the training opportunities scheme are made through jobcentres and employment offices. The special temporary employment programme is now being concentrated on the areas of greatest need and more exclusively on helping the long term unemployed. Provisions under this programme for 1980–81 is now being reviewed.