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Jobcentres: North East

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much is planned to be spent on local Jobcentre Plus centres in the North East region over the next 12 months for the provision of access to online job-search facilities and one to one advice. (222632)

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:

The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your question asking how much is planned to be spent on local Jobcentre Plus centres in the North East region over the next 12 months for the provision of access to online job-search facilities and one to one advice. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The requested information is not available.

Online job-search facilities are available in each of our 45 Jobcentre Plus offices in the North East region via “Jobpoints”. In the year to June 2007 which is the most recent figure available, the contract with our local IT supplier to maintain the Jobpoints cost the Agency £230,897. Jobsearch facilities are also available via the internet. However, this is a national service and cannot be broken down by region. This year's financial allocation for staffing in the North East Region's Jobcentres is £49.4m to March 2009. This includes £17,227,212 for Personal Advisors and £5,334,184 for staff providing regular face to face support during fortnightly job reviews. I am unable to provide you with a separate figure for one to one advice.

Customers are now using our Jobcentres differently. More of our face-to-face customer contact is on an appointment basis and information on job vacancies is readily available by telephone and the internet. This enables staff in our offices to focus on those customers in greatest need of support to return to work.