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Jobcentre Plus: Manpower

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what plans he has to employ additional Jobcentre Plus staff in each region in each of the next five years to enable Jobcentre Plus to cope with the additional responsibilities accorded to it under the proposals in the Welfare Reform Bill; (257816)

(2) whether Jobcentre Plus staff will be given additional training in respect of their responsibilities under the proposals in Part 2 of the Welfare Reform Bill.

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: 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 questions asking:

What plans he has to employ additional Jobcentre Plus staff in each region, in each of the next five years, to enable Jobcentre Plus to cope with the additional responsibilities accorded to it under the Welfare Reform Bill.

Whether Jobcentre Plus staff will be given additional training in respect of their responsibilities under Part 2 of the Welfare Reform Bill. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus is currently undertaking detailed design and implementation planning for the range of initiatives contained within the Welfare Reform Bill. These initiatives are planned to be delivered progressively over the next three to five years. The implementation planning will include the location and timing of the specific pilots and trailblazers as outlined in the Bill, and any additional training requirements.

I am unable to provide the information you require in advance of the conclusion of this detailed planning work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many additional Jobcentre Plus staff he expects to be employed to take account of anticipated changes in the levels of employment in each region in each of the next five years. (258128)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Jobcentre Plus staff were employed in each region in each of the last five years. (258130)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1980W, to the hon. Member for Cardiff, Central (Jenny Willott).