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Jobcentre Plus: Telephone Services

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets are set for Jobcentre Plus contact centre telephone operators. (190503)

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 13 March 2008:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what targets are set for Jobcentre Plus Contact Centre telephone operators. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus currently has 31 Contact Centres offering telephony services to our customers. The services delivered are:

Jobseeker Direct—individuals can get help finding work;

Employer Direct—where employers can place vacancies with us;

First Contact—where information is collected to support claims to benefit;

National Insurance Number—for customers requiring a NINO;

National Benefit Fraud Hotline—for anyone wishing to report benefit theft; and

Social Fund—customers can call to apply for a crisis loan.

Jobcentre Plus Contact Centres contribute to six national Jobcentre Plus targets:

Job Outcome Target (JOT)—JOT is the measure of our success in helping people in to work. It is based on an automated reporting system, which reports movements into work and off benefit by matching Jobcentre Plus and HMRC data;

Customer Service Target—This measures Jobcentre Plus’ performance in meeting the standards and commitments set out in the organisation's customer and employer charters;

Monetary Value of Fraud and Error—Contact Centre Directorate has a direct impact on this target by taking appropriate action when fraud is suspected during interaction with the customer and more specifically through the referrals that are generated from calls to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline;

Average Actual Clearance Times—is measured through the processing of claims within specified average actual clearance times, for Incapacity benefit, Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance—18 days, 11 days and 12 days respectively;

Employer Outcome Target—is measured through a survey of employers’ perceptions of the service they have received from Jobcentre Plus in terms of whether the vacancy was filled, if it was filled within an acceptable time scale and if customers submitted to the vacancies matched the employers' requirements; and

Interventions Delivery Target—is a measure of the efficiency of Jobcentre Plus in booking customers in for work-focused interviews within set timescales to provide effective employment support and advice.

Contact Centres are measured against a range of internal performance indicators which support and underpin the Jobcentre Plus targets. All Contact Centre Customer Service Agents have key work objectives which are put in place to support, contribute and feed into the achievement of the six national Jobcentre Plus targets.