Skip to main content

Jobcentre Plus: Manpower

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria will be used to allocate the additional 2,000 staff at Jobcentre Plus offices proposed in the pre-Budget report; what the timetable for their recruitment is; how many staff have been recruited; how many additional staff will be allocated to the Sutton Jobcentre; whether a Rapid Response manager has been appointed in each district; and if he will make a statement. (254511)

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 criteria will be used to allocate the additional 2,000 staff at Jobcentre Plus offices proposed in the pre-Budget report; what the timetable for their recruitment is; how many staff have been recruited to date; how many additional staff will be allocated to the Sutton Jobcentre; if a Rapid Response manager has been appointed in each district. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

In October 2008 the Secretary of State announced that Jobcentre Plus would retain 2,000 more staff than originally planned in 2008-09. In November 2008, following the pre-Budget report, the Secretary of State announced that there will be an extra 6,000 staff in place in Jobcentre Plus for the 2009-10 financial year.

Jobcentre Plus will allocate the additional staff on a proportionate basis between our Jobcentres, Contact Centres and Benefit Delivery Centres. My operational directors will use their judgement and workload information to decide where to deploy the resources.

Since November we have recruited 2,700 additional staff nationally and plan to recruit at least 1,200 a month until we reach the right level. We have already placed an additional ten staff in Sutton Jobcentre and are in the process of recruiting further staff. The precise number of extra staff who will be placed in Sutton Jobcentre is not yet known.

I can confirm that each Jobcentre Plus district has a named Rapid Response Manager. When redundancies in local businesses become known, this Manager co-ordinates the Jobcentre response and support. I am pleased to report that since November over 650 employers have accepted help from Jobcentre Plus.