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Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what tailored support his Department provides for unemployed executives; and if he will make a statement. (275512)

As part of the Government’s response to the economic downturn, the DWP put in place extra support for newly unemployed customers from the 6 April 2009, including a service for professionals and executives.

Jobseeker’s allowance customers who are interested in receiving advice about modern job search techniques and matching their skills to available vacancies will be referred from their first interview to an information session delivered by Jobcentre Plus. Those that need more coaching will be referred to an advice and coaching session delivered by external providers. Newly unemployed professionals who need extra help will be referred from their first interview in the jobcentre to organisations specialising in support for professionals and executives.

There are places for 350,000 newly unemployed customers (the service for people from a professional or executive occupation will support a proportion of this overall number) over the period 2009-10 and 2010-11.