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Workfare

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he intends to commission a feasibility study on the possibility of introducing a workfare system for dealing with the long-term unemployed; and if he will make a statement.

My Department is constantly looking for ways of improving the effectiveness of its measures to help long-term unemployed people back to work. As part of that process we announced recently a number of changes which will extend and improve the employment service's present system of offering counselling and advice to unemployed people. My right hon. and learned Friend also announced to the House on 11 May our intention to introduce regulations later this year which will enable employment service staff to require the attendance at a restart course of those who have been unemployed for two years or more and who refuse to participate in any of my Department's employment and training programmes. We shall continue to keep all these measures under review.