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Employment: Islam

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to increase the number of Muslim women in employment. (129065)

DWP does not focus its employment programmes specifically by faith, but instead focuses resources on disadvantage. Employment programme funding will be targeted on areas such as Tower Hamlets and Bradford where a large number of the population are Muslim.

Partners’ Outreach for Ethnic Minorities, an outreach service which started in February 2007, aims to test ways to improve support for people from ethnic minorities who are disengaged from the labour market and unlikely to use mainstream Jobcentre Plus services. It is targeting Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali partners in low income households. The target group includes a high proportion of women who are predominantly Muslim. It is available in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Leicester, the cities identified in the National Employment Panel’s 2005 report ‘Enterprising people: Enterprising places’.