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New Deal for Lone Parents

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to develop skills training for parents participating in the New Deal for Lone Parents; and if he will make a statement. (221745)

Lone parents who participate in new deal for lone parents can voluntarily access work-related training which is tailored to their individual requirements and takes into account their previous experiences, skills and the type of work they are looking for.

In our Green Paper “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” (Cm 7363), published on 21 July 2008, we set out options to support more lone parents to develop their skills and move into employment. These included requiring lone parents to take part in a skills health check when their youngest child turns five, pilots to evaluate mandating them to relevant skills training to address any identified skills gaps as well as encouraging lone parents with younger children to voluntarily develop the skills they need to find work.

From late 2010, lone parents with a youngest child aged seven or more will no longer be eligible for income support. They will instead be able to apply for jobseeker's allowance (JSA) or employment and support allowance if they have a disability or health condition. Those who receive JSA for six months or more will be able to take part in full-time employment-related training for up to eight weeks while receiving a training allowance. Lone parents will still be able to access new deal for lone parents for the first 12 months of their JSA claim.