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Written Question
Vacancies: Eastbourne
Thursday 10th February 2022

Asked by: Caroline Ansell (Conservative - Eastbourne)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the latest reported vacancy figures are for Eastbourne constituency; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

ONS does not produce statistics on vacancies below the national level. However, estimates of ‘online job adverts’ are available at a regional level. These statistics show online job vacancies for South East England are up 24% since the start of the pandemic (February 2020).

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.


Written Question
Employment Schemes
Tuesday 8th February 2022

Asked by: Kieran Mullan (Conservative - Crewe and Nantwich)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Plan For Jobs in supporting people into work.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP Plan for Jobs programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. In addition, the Government supported people to remain in work through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Plan for Jobs has:

  • Helped over 130,000 young people have started Kickstart placements.
  • We have over 160 Youth Hubs across Great Britain to support young people.
  • Over 127,000 Sector-based Work Academy Programmes have been started.
  • Restart is helping to support claimants who have been out of work for longer periods.
  • Job Finding Support provided new one-to-one online support to the recently unemployed.
  • Job Entry Targeted Support helped provide applicants with support related to CV writing, interview skills and job search advice.

DWP is monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout and after its implementation and will continue to evaluate the longer-term outcomes for Kickstart participants after they have completed their six-month jobs. Our Kickstart evaluation includes large scale surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants and of employers and gateway organisations. The evaluation is considering how experiences and outcomes from the scheme vary and examine how participants’ and employers’ characteristics, local context and local approaches to delivery affect experiences. Qualitative case-studies will provide a detailed understanding of how different aspects of the scheme interact and we will draw on available data and insights. We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

A comprehensive, multi-strand evaluation will be undertaken to provide a robust and timely analysis of Restart delivery and impact. It will be split into four strands: targeted qualitative research during the implementation phase; a longitudinal cohort survey and qualitative research; provider research, including locally-focused case studies and finally an impact assessment including cost-benefit analysis the evaluation will assess overall programme impact and participant outcomes, as well as providing evidence on wider participant experience.

An evaluation of how DWP’s plan for jobs policies worked together is being undertaken. This will include case studies of different areas and their delivery of plan for jobs policies, and a tracking survey of a sample of plan for jobs participants and non-participants. This research will run through 2022 into 2023.

DWP have also recently launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Coronavirus
Friday 4th February 2022

Asked by: Wendy Chamberlain (Liberal Democrat - North East Fife)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department has issued to Jobcentre staff on the celebration of religious festivals, birthdays, retirements and other occasions during periods of covid-19 restrictions.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

In respect of the workplace, we ask staff at all times and in all circumstances to comply with covid safety measures in place.


Written Question
Long Term Unemployed People
Wednesday 2nd February 2022

Asked by: Seema Malhotra (Labour (Co-op) - Feltham and Heston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of people classed as long term unemployed; and how that figure compares to the number before the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

Those who are classified as long term unemployed have been out of work and are available for and searching for employment for 12 months or more. The latest data available, from the independent Office for National Statistics, covering Sep-Nov ’21, is summarised in the table below.

Total (aged 16+)

Rate (aged 16+)

Latest (Sep-Nov ’21)

428,000

30.9 %

Change since Covid-19 (Dec-Feb ’20)

+121,000

+8.4 %pts

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.


Written Question
Employment
Tuesday 1st February 2022

Asked by: Seema Malhotra (Labour (Co-op) - Feltham and Heston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the total number of people currently in paid work, including the self-employed, compared to before the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

There are different measures of people in work. The official measure, based on the Labour Force Survey, provides the broadest coverage of the self-employed. The latest available data, covering Sep-Nov ’21, is summarised in the table below.

Total (aged 16+)

Employees

Self-employed

Other *

Latest (Sep-Nov ’21)

32.475 million

28.128 million

4.213 million

135,000

Change since Covid-19 (Dec-Feb ’20)

-598,000

+272,000

-815,000

-54,000

* ‘Other’ includes the categories of ‘unpaid family workers’ and those stating they are employed through ‘Government supported training & employment programmes’.

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.


Written Question
Jobcentres
Monday 17th January 2022

Asked by: David Linden (Scottish National Party - Glasgow East)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish opening dates for each of her Department's confirmed temporary job centres.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department has published the list of temporary Jobcentres on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/temporary-jobcentres-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic and, in the next week, opening dates will be included for those sites that have already opened. The Department will continue to update https://www.gov.uk/guidance/temporary-jobcentres-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic as more sites open. The date a site opens is dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, lease signing dates, planning approvals and completion of the building work required.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Scotland and Wales
Monday 13th December 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2021 to Question 82339, Coronavirus: Scotland: Wales, for which non-customer-facing roles in Jobcentres are staff required to attend the office.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

Some colleagues based in Jobcentres are in non-customer facing roles, in back of house service delivery and corporate roles. Largely, these colleagues are able to work in a hybrid way, with some time spent in the office and some time at home. Although some service delivery roles such as Work Coach Team Leaders are not customer facing, they do support customer facing staff therefore it may be necessary for them to be in the office.

Following recent announcements colleagues have been advised to follow the government guidance regarding working from home. Colleagues in Scotland and Wales have been advised to follow the guidance provided by the devolved administrations. This does not impact those colleagues accountable for delivering face-to-face services in our jobcentres in front of house roles.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Coronavirus
Wednesday 1st December 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what impact assessment she has made of the risk of covid-19 transmission of increased face-to-face Jobcentre appointments.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department has prioritised the safety of our workforce and claimants throughout the pandemic and part of that is ensuring that we have robust national and site level risk assessments and guidance that ensures all appropriate mitigations are in place. The impact assessment informs the generic risk assessment, which we then apply at a local level, within the parameters that are set.

We have a suite of Health & Safety risk assessments in place developed following extensive consultation with departmental trade union representatives. These cover all of the measures in place to protect staff and customers and are regularly reviewed.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Coronavirus
Tuesday 30th November 2021

Asked by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Jobcentres have reported multiple covid-19 cases in each of the last six months.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

The Department has consistently taken a proactive approach to reporting and reviewing all reported cases of Covid-19 infections. This has ensured that wherever possible sites remain open or partially open.

During the 6-month period May to October 2021, 11 offices have been closed for a circuit breaks, 6 of these were closed due to multiple positive cases on the site. Circuit breaks are tight restrictions and/or closures designed to stop and bring the number of cases down.

The following offices were closed or partially closed due to circuit breaks:

  • Blackburn Service Centre
  • Wigan Jobcentre
  • Caxton House (Corporate Centre/Hub)
  • Manchester St Peters SQ (Corporate Centre/Hub)
  • Dudley Pedmore House Service Centre
  • Guisely Jobcentre
  • Weymouth Jobcentre
  • Newcastle Tyne View Park (Corporate Centre/Hub)
  • Caerphilly Jobcentre
  • Kirkby Jobcentre
  • Montrose Jobcentre

The offices listed above are sites that were closed for a Circuit Break due to the potential of workplace transmission and therefore do not include sites where they were temporarily closed to allow for deep clean to take place.


Written Question
Jobcentres: Coronavirus
Monday 21st June 2021

Asked by: Justin Madders (Labour - Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what advice is being given to staff and customers attending in person at jobcentres in areas where guidance on enhanced covid-19 measures has been issued.

Answered by Mims Davies - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)

Throughout the pandemic, Jobcentres remained open for anyone who needed face-to-face support. DWP takes the safety of colleagues and customers very seriously and all of our offices are COVID secure and we have extensive measures in place to protect staff and customers including social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes.

Staff and customers are instructed that they should not to come into our offices if they have covid or covid symptoms and that they should stay at home and book a test.

In addition, colleagues across the country are advised to undertake twice weekly lateral flow testing and to take up the offer of surge testing and vaccinations when these are made available.

We continue to follow all Government guidance in relation to measures in place in our sites.