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Child Support Agency: Training

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what training courses were attended by Child Support Agency staff in each of the last three years; and what the cost was of each course to his Department; (133918)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2007, Official Report, column 1064W, on departmental training, how much was spent on courses for staff in the Child Support Agency in (a) stress awareness, (b) self development, (c) self awareness, (d) creative thinking, (e) curriculum vitae writing, (f) running staff clubs, (g) facilitation skills, (h) non-verbal behaviour, (i) intervention skills and (j) being a change agent in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and how many staff attended these courses.

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty dated, 21 June 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of state promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what training courses were attended by Child Support Agency staff in the last three years; and what the cost was of each course to his Department. [133918]

You also asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 26th February 2007, Official Report, column 1064W, on departmental training how much was spent on courses for staff in the Child support Agency in (a) stress awareness, (b) self development, (c) self awareness, (d) creative thinking, (e) curriculum vitae writing, (f) running staff clubs, (g) facilitation skills, (h) non-verbal behaviour, (i) intervention skills and (j) being a change agent in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and how many staff attended these courses. [136020]

The Agency’s training programme is aimed at making Agency people experts in their specialist business areas in order to effectively deliver more money to more children and improve client service. The Agency offers a wide range of training programmes, including technical training, work towards professionally accredited qualifications, and personal effectiveness training, including some of the courses specified above.

This training is delivered using a number of methods, including our own Learning Resource Centre, Departmental e-learning courses that are available to all our people from their work station and accessed via the Department’s Intranet, and external facilitator led training. Varying degrees of information are available for the training offered by each of these sources. Unfortunately, I am therefore unable to provide full detail of all Agency training over the last three years.

Such information as is available is set out in the attached tables.

In relation to the specific training courses you have requested details for, the number of training courses provided via the Learning Resource Centre over the past 3 years is set out in Table 1. However, the information provided is restricted to the number of variable length sessions delivered in the years specified, as information on the number of people participating in the training and the cost to the Agency of these training courses is not available in the format requested.

I am unable to price information for the number of Departmental e-learning courses undertaken by Agency people. There is no cost associated with accessing Departmental e-learning, beyond the time spent taking these courses and their initial development. The Department covered all the developmental costs of these courses and the direct cost to the Agency of each course is nil.

The number of Agency people undertaking the Department’s external facilitator led course and the cost of these course is set out in Table 2.

Finally, Tables 3 and 4 set out the number of technical skills training courses attended by Agency people in the last three years. Training set out in Table 4 supports the implementation of the Agency’s Operational Improvement Plan, which focuses on delivering more money to more children. Unfortunately, information on the cost for each of these courses in not readily available.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Table 1: Number of people who attended Learning Resource Centre training sessions during 2004-07

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Stress awareness

38

112

31

Self development

236

322

128

Creative thinking

11

13

8

Curriculum vitae writing

58

6

0

Facilitation skills

4

0

0

Being a change agent

33

13

22

Table 2: Cost and quantity of DWP/External facilitator led training during 2004-07

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Course type

Number of people

Cost (£)

Number of people

Cost (£)

Number of people

Cost (£)

Stress awareness

10

450

70

3,254

11

537

Self development

69

8,023

101

8,087

9

3,853

Curriculum vitae writing

58

2,252

6

450

0

0

Facilitation skills

4

300

0

0

0

0

Table 3: Number of technical training course held during 2004-06

Number of courses undertaken

Course type

2004-05

2005-06

New entrant-New system new rules

48

142

New entrant-New system old rules

0

3

New entrant old system old rules

7

18

Existing staff-refresher training new rules

15

52

Existing staff-refresher training old rules

16

13

Business change CSR—New system new rules

395

168

Business change CSR—New system old rules

0

8

Total

481

396

Table 4: Number of technical training courses held during 2006-07

Course type

Number of courses undertaken 2006-07

New client

92

Client service

125

Debt enforcement

28

Legal enforcement

22

Team leader

117

Other

94

Total

478