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Jobseeker's Allowance: Basic Skills

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of jobseeker’s allowance claimants in receipt of basic skills training have succeeded in obtaining a basic skills qualification in each year since 1997. (162361)

Skills provision is a devolved issue. Responsibility for monitoring training outcomes rests with the Learning and Skills Council in England, Local Authorities in Scotland and The Welsh Assembly Government in Wales.

Jobseeker’s allowance customers can undertake part-time skills training including basic skills courses without a referral from Jobcentre Plus provided it does not conflict with the work search requirements of their benefit. Jobcentre Plus would not routinely record qualification outcomes for these part-time courses.

Some jobseeker’s allowance customers with identified basic skills needs that are a barrier to finding work are referred by Jobcentre Plus to full-time basic skills provision on a voluntary basis. These customers are supported by a training allowance.

The recently published “Employment, Opportunity and Progression: making skills work” aims to build on these arrangements and provide a more integrated employment and skills service. Obtaining more comprehensive information about the skills as well as the work outcomes will be one element of the new approach.