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Employment Services: Lone Parents

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps his Department has taken to assist single parents seeking employment during the economic downturn. (270926)

From 6 April, lone parents on jobseeker’s allowance for six months or more can access an expanded range of work, training and volunteering opportunities. This includes incentives of up to £2,500 for employers to recruit and train unemployed people, consisting of a recruitment subsidy worth £1,000 and, depending on location, access to in-work training worth a further £1,500. Qualifying jobseekers who wish to become self- employed also have access to practical advice and financial support to start a business.

Longer-term jobseekers will receive help from the flexible new deal which will provide job-search support tailored to the specific needs of the individual and address related barriers to employment. The flexible new deal will be introduced in phase one areas from October 2009.

Additionally, all single parents in receipt of working-age benefits continue to have immediate access to the new deal for lone parents. This voluntary programme provides access to a specialist personal adviser, in-work benefit advice and a range of other assistance.