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Students (Unemployment Benefit)

Volume 981: debated on Friday 21 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to stop social security unemployment benefit payments to students at United Kingdom universities and polytechnics who are not mature students, in view of the number of students signing on for unemployment benefit at the beginning of the holidays when work is often available.

I have been asked to reply.No. To qualify for benefit a student has to be available for any type of work within his capabilities. He may be disqualified if he refuses suitable employment. We have already introduced tighter conditions for students claiming unemployment benefit in the short vacations, whereby they have to show a reasonable attachment to the employment field. As regards supplementary benefit during the short vacations, the effect of the vacation element in the student's grant is to remove title to benefit in the ordinary case.