asked the Paymaster General if he will take steps to seek to increase the effectiveness of the working of the employment transfer scheme as regards applicants from the north of England and Scotland seeking jobs in the south of England.
The purpose of the employment transfer scheme is to help employers to fill vacancies which cannot be filled locally by encouraging and assisting unemployed people and those threatened with redundancy to move to take them when they would not otherwise have done so. The scheme is not intended to provide financial assistance to all unemployed people who move to jobs in other parts of the country. Offering such assistance where vacancies can be filled by local unemployed people would be a waste of taxpayers' money. We are piloting a revised approach in the south-west region which ties the scheme more closely to those vacancies which employers cannot fill locally. This new approach is simpler to administer than the existing employment transfer scheme and will enable unemployed people who are considering taking jobs in other areas to be told more quickly than is possible under the existing arrangements whether they are eligible for assistance. The Government will be reviewing the future of the scheme in the light of the results of the pilot scheme and other factors.