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"Next Steps"

Volume 170: debated on Friday 30 March 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the employment service will be established as a "next steps" agency; and if he will make a statement.

The employment service becomes a "next steps" agency on Monday 2 April 1990. The employment service has 35,000 staff dealing directly with the public, helping unemployed people into jobs and paying £4·6 million in benefits for unemployment, making the agency the biggest and the most significant to be set up so far under the "next steps" initiative.I will be publishing on Monday the agency framework document, which describes how the agency will operate in relation to the Department, and its annual performance agreement, which describes the specific performance targets the agency is aiming to achieve in 1990–91. Copies of these documents will be placed in the Library.

My hon. Friend the Minister of State is writing to all Members with more details about the agency arrangements and the responsibilities of the agency's chief executive.