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Manpower Services Commission Schemes (Eligibility)

Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take steps to amend those Manpower Services Commission schemes which have the effect that unemployed young men are ineligible for particular appointments because they have been unemployed for less than 12 unbroken months, although they may have had only two months temporary work in two years; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that the right hon. Member is referring to the qualifying criteria for places under the community programme and community enterprise programme. Places on these programmes are open to longterm unemployed men and women, who are defined as those aged 18-24 who have been unemployed for more than six months and those aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for more than a year. Short periods of casual, temporary or unsatisfactory employment not exceeding two weeks would be disregarded when determining eligibility.I am satisfied that the operation of this rule helps ensure that places on the programmes are open to those in most need.