The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 9 October 2006:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what estimate he has made of the number of trained psychotherapeutic counsellors working in or in partnership with Jobcentres. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus does not directly employ staff to provide psychotherapeutic counselling. In Pathways to Work areas, Personal Advisers are able to refer their customers to a Condition Management Programme which can include access to psychological therapies. Although these services are funded by Jobcentre Plus, they are commissioned, and supplied, by local Primary Care Trusts. We are therefore not able to provide details of the number of staff involved.
In addition, Jobcentres have many local (non-contractual) partnerships with a variety of voluntary and community organisations that offer support to individuals on issues such as coping with life and substance or alcohol abuse. Although counselling is used by some of these organisations, we have no data on whether or not they specifically use trained psychotherapeutic counsellors.