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Volume 979: debated on Tuesday 19 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied with the way in which job-centres are presently operating.

I am generally satisfied with the operation and performance of jobcentres, and support the plans of the Manpower Services Commission to modernise the employment service. But it is important to avoid extravagance in developing the programmes and plans for expenditure on jobcentres are being examined by the MSC in the context of the resources now available for its programmes.


asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many job-centres have been opened since 1 July 1979 and at what cost; how many job-centres are planned to be opened by the Manpower Services Commission in the next 12 months and what estimates have been made of this cost; and how many of these, in both periods referred to, are in towns or localities where an employment exchange is already in existence.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) that 54 job centres were opened during the period 1 July 1979 to 31 January 1980 at a total capital cost of £2·5 million. Of these 51 were in localities previously served by an employment office, each of which was replaced by the new job-centre. The MSC expects to open about 100 jobcentres in the financial year 198081 at an estimated capital cost of £7 million. Of these about 95 will be in locations where an employment office is in existence.