The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Mel Groves:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what assistance his Department plans to provide to the Woolworths workforce; and if he will take steps to ensure that Woolworths observes its statutory obligations with regard to its workforce. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
When Woolworths went into administration Jobcentre Plus made contact immediately with the administrators and Woolworths management to prepare the Rapid Response Service support for any redundancies.
The key components of the Rapid Response Service are Skills Transfer Analysis, Job-Focused Training and the Action Fund. Jobcentre Plus will embark upon a Skills Transfer Analysis with former Woolworths employees to identify those with transferable skills and training needs relevant to their own local labour market. Where necessary, Job-Focused Training will be put in place for those requiring training or certification. Finally, should an individual have a personal barrier preventing them from taking up employment or training the Action Fund will be used to overcome that.
Jobcentre Plus has also ensured that each and every Woolworths employee will receive appropriate literature within their personal redundancy pack. This literature will provide advice on navigating the benefits system and introduce the various Jobcentre Plus services that will enable them to find alternative employment.