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Economic Situation

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions his Department has had with outside organisations to discuss policy on reducing the effect of the recession on matters within his Department's responsibility. (254067)

The global economic downturn has far-reaching consequences and requires a co-ordinated response from across Government and businesses. We have been working hard to promote closer working between employers and Jobcentre Plus. On 12 January, for example, we hosted an Employment Summit, bringing together around 120 employers, representative groups and training providers to discuss how businesses can play their part in the response to rising unemployment. The total cost of the event was £162,076.18.

Building on this, the Secretary of State jointly hosted the first meeting of the National Employment Partnership on 11 February. This event was attended by 22 key employers from across a number of sectors to discuss the implementation of the Government's new package of support for those who are still unemployed six months into a jobseeker's allowance claim, and to discuss the role and importance of Local Employment Partnerships.

In addition to these events, Ministers and senior officials continue to meet with outside organisations on a regular basis to discuss specific issues arising from the recession across the whole spectrum of the Department's work.