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Jobcentre Plus: Training

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether she has recently changed the number of hours of training for (a) personal advisers, (b) decision makers, (c) disability benefit advisers and (d) specialist lone parents advisers who are (i) new employees and (ii) existing Jobcentre Plus employees; and if she will make a statement. (289504)

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 question asking whether she has recently changed the number of hours of training for (a) personal advisers, (b) decision makers, (c) disability benefit advisers and (d) specialist lone parents advisers who are (i) new employees and (ii) existing Jobcentre Plus employees; and if she will make a statement. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The total hours of learning and product sets for advisers, decision makers, disability benefit advisers and specialist lone parent advisers has not changed.

However, to support the current high volume of new recruits taking up these roles, we have prioritised the learning programme that they undertake.

New recruits will initially complete prioritised learning products to enable them to take up their positions. This prioritised routeway does not replace the full standard learning product set as the remaining products are completed once the individual has taken up post, within a timeframe determined by their local managers. By way of illustration, a newly recruited adviser will complete 130 hours of prioritised learning prior to taking up post and the remaining 85 hours of learning subsequently.

Existing Jobcentre Plus employees would again initially complete priority learning to enable them to move into an adviser role but the hours of training on priority products would be reduced dependant upon their existing skills and knowledge. Similarly, the remaining learning products are completed within a timeframe determined by local managers.