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Progression to Work Model

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of personal advisers required to administer the Progression to Work model; at what Civil Service pay band the personal advisers administering the model will be graded; and what estimate he has made of the additional cost of the scheme to his Department. (257749)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: A cadre of skilled and capable personal advisers will be absolutely essential to effectively implement the Progression to Work model. The Department made clear in its recent discussion document “Realising Potential: developing personalised conditionality and support” that it will be necessary to think through the implications for the adviser role and implement a workforce development strategy within Jobcentre Plus. This is an issue we will discuss in detail with stakeholders. As such no final decisions have yet been made on the grading or number of personal advisers necessary to deliver the Progression to Work pathfinders. However all Jobcentre Plus personal advisers are currently band C grade staff.

The cost of the new Progression to Work pathfinders will depend on precisely what the personalised conditionality and work-related activity looks like. At this stage therefore, costs are uncertain. The impact assessment associated with the White Paper “Raising Expectations and Increasing Support—reforming welfare for the future” estimated that the increase in work-focused interviews and provision to support work and skills-related activity could cost up to an extra £20 million a year for parents with younger children. For employment and support allowance customers we are still working through the detailed design of the policy and assessing the appropriate balance between Jobcentre Plus and providers. Additional costs will be met from within the current agreed Department spending plans.