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Employment Schemes

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what funding she has allocated for the implementation of progression to work pathfinders; (255131)

(2) from what source funding for the implementation of the progression to work pathfinders will come;

(3) how many additional jobcentre staff are planned to implement the progression to work pathfinders.

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 assessing the appropriate balance between provision of the service by Jobcentre Plus and providers. Additional costs will be met from within the current agreed Department spending plans.

A cadre of skilled and capable personal advisers will be absolutely essential to effectively implement the Progression to Work model. Our discussion document ‘Realising Potential: developing personalised conditionality and support’ made clear that that it will be necessary to think through the implications for the adviser role and implement a work force development strategy for Jobcentre Plus staff. This is an issue we will discuss in detail with stakeholders. Until pathfinder locations are decided final decisions cannot be made on the number of personal advisers necessary to deliver the Progression to Work pathfinders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many firms her Department has made payments to under the employers' golden hello scheme since the scheme's inception; and how many employees have been recruited under the scheme. (278304)

The recruitment subsidy was introduced on 6 April 2009 as part of the six-month offer of extra support for jobseekers and data are only starting to feed through. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity. We intend to publish Official Statistics from autumn 2009.