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Unemployment Policy

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the major changes of policy announced by him since June.

[holding answer 16 December 1987]: The following is a list of some of the major policy announcements made in the last six months. On 30 June I wrote to the chairman of the MSC to explain the changes I had decided to make to programmes run by the MSC, to consult the commission on the proposed transfer of some functions from the MSC to the Department of Employment and to inform the MSC of certain changes I intended to make to its composition. Following consideration of the commission's response on 23 July I informed the chairman of the MSC on 31 July of my intention to go ahead with the transfer of functions from the MSC to the Department of Employment. I announced the creation of the employment service on 23 October.The Employment Bill was published on 23 October.My hon. Friend the Minister of State announced on 29 October his intention, as soon as legislative time is available, to increase the age limit up to which women can receive a statutory redundancy payment from 60 to 65 years.On 13 November, following observations made by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, I announced a review of the Skills Training Agency.In a statement on 18 November I announced the establishment from September 1988 of a unified training programme for unemployed adults by bringing together the community programme, the job training scheme and a number of other training programmes for adults.On 2 December I gave details of the appointment of Lloyds Merchant Bank Ltd. to act as my advisers and report to me early in the new year about options for transferring Professional and Executive Recruitment out of the public sector.In a joint announcement on 9 December, I invited all major higher education institutions to apply for MSC funding in order to bring enterprise to the centre of their activities.On 10 December I issued a consultative document entitled "Restrictions on the Employment of Young People and the Removal of Sex Discrimination in Legislation".On 14 December I announced new procedures for ensuring that claimants to unemployment benefits are available for work.