To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a further statement on the development of job clubs.
Since my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. Sackville), on 15 December 1987, at column 476, a further 51 job clubs have opened.There are now 1,184 job clubs in operation. Some changes in eligibility rules were made early in March 1988 to reinforce help available to unemployed people at a disadvantage in the labour market. In particular, entry to job clubs was made easier for (i) people with disabilities, (ii) ex-offenders, (iii) clients of Manpower Services Commission's adult programmes, if they leave the programme unplaced.In addition, the employment service is developing the job club programme in inner cities so as better to meet special needs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are attending job clubs in the northern region.
At 26 February, 1,682 people were attending job clubs in the northern region.