From time to time, I come across proceedings from parliament that are relevent to our community. I decided to create this page to include some of the more interesting ones and so that you can track their progress.
Entries are in reverse order with the newest at the top of the page.
|MPs debate how to support young people during the recession||15.01.2010|
|Debate on operation of Jobcentre Plus in Mitcham||07.07.2009|
|MPs debate how young people fare in the recession||07.07.2009|
|Debate on manufacturing and employment||09.06.2009|
|Final day of debate on 2009 Budget||29.04.2009|
|Commons debates statutory redundancy pay||16.03.2009|
|Commons debate on UK unemployment||11.03.2009|
|Committee report looks at unemployment support||05.03.2009|
|Welfare Reform Bill Committee takes evidence||11.02.2009|
|Report calls for workforce re-skilling||16.01.2009|
|Welfare reform statement||11.12.2008|
Written answers and statements, 21 July 2009
Jim Knight (Minister of State (the South West), Regional Affairs; South Dorset, Labour)
The Department is keen to ensure that everyone who is out of work has the support they need to find a job, and this help increases the longer someone has been unemployed.
The introduction of the flexible new deal in phase 1 areas from October 2009 will establish a new, unified approach for every jobseeker, whatever their age, skills or barriers to work, from the 12-month point of their claim. The flexible new deal will deliver work-focused support, tailored to each individual's needs and local labour market requirements. It is envisaged that we will introduce this scheme in phase 2 areas from October 2010.
Until the flexible new deal is introduced, the new deals will continue to run in phase 2 areas.
The 2009 Budget made an additional £2.8 billion available to DWP, on top of the £1.3 billion funding announced in the pre-Budget report, which will ensure we can continue to maintain our support to jobseekers through the economic downturn, including funding to support the flexible new deal.
£1.1 billion of this will fund the young person's guarantee; from January 2010, all customers aged 18-24 who are approaching 12 months of their claim to jobseeker's allowance will have access to one of the following offers:
- A new job created through the Future Jobs Fund;
- Support to move into an existing job in a key employment sector;
- Work-focused training; or
- A work experience placement through the Community Task Force.
Some elements of the guarantee will be available sooner. In October of this year the first jobs created by the Future Jobs Fund will be available, and training to enter key employment sectors will be available in the autumn.
Jobseeker's allowance customers can do unlimited volunteering, and train for up to 16 hours per week, alongside active job search. Jobseekers may also undertake up to two weeks of full-time training in any 12-month period, without jeopardising their benefit entitlements.
Future Jobs Fund
House of Commons Written Answers 25 June 2009
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the Future Jobs Fund. 
Jim Knight: The future jobs fund is an important new initiative announced in the Budget 2009 worth £1 billion to create 150,000 new jobs both for young people and individuals living in unemployment hotspots. We are inviting bids from a wide range of organisations and partnerships including those from the sport and creative industries to create valuable jobs that bring real benefits to individuals and their communities.
The previous Secretary of State for Work and Pensions met with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to discuss ways to ensure the sport and culture industries are able to put together strong bids to the fund and deliver jobs in these industries as early as October 2009.
Building on this, officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Work and Pensions have been working closely together to ensure the sport and creative industries play a prominent role in the jobs created through the future jobs fund and we expect to receive a number of bids from organisations in these areas when we start assessing bids from July 2009 onwards.
It is important that we engage with individuals who are approaching long-term unemployment to help them move into fulfilling and valuable employment that will help Britain prepare for economic recovery. The future jobs fund will provide organisations with the funding to do this and make a real contribution to the lives of individuals and their communities.
Unemployment: Older Workers
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps her Department has taken to assist unemployed people over the age of 50 years to find work. 
Jim Knight: The Government are committed to giving everyone the support they need to find employment as quickly as possible, whatever their age.
A major factor in the employment of older people is employer behaviour. In addition to providing generic good practice guidance to employers, the UK’s Age Positive initiative is working in partnership with business leaders to develop sector-based models of flexible retirement to support the increased employment and retention of older workers and the removal of fixed retirement ages.
Our plans for the future include providing guidance to older workers on their options for working longer, encouraging employers to increase flexible work and phased retirement opportunities, and monitoring the impact of the economic downturn to identify which groups are being most affected and targeting further help where it is most needed.
On the 6 April 2009, as part of the Government’s response to the economic downturn, the Department for Work and Pensions put in place extra support for newly unemployed customers, including information and advice about the latest job search techniques and coaching on how to make the most of transferable skills. Extra help for those who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for six months was also introduced, including opportunities to volunteer, support to become self-employed, recruitment subsidies and work-focused training.
Since last autumn, the Department has also quadrupled the available funding for the rapid response service, which provides advice and support to customers facing redundancy. It has extended local employment partnerships, the adviser discretion fund and access to work so they are available to customers from the first day of their claim, alongside the support they receive from their Jobcentre Plus personal adviser.
The introduction of the flexible new deal across phase 1 areas from October 2010 will give providers the freedom to offer personalised, tailored support to everyone who has been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for 12 months, helping them overcome their individual barriers to work.
This will be available to jobseeker’s allowance customers of all ages to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance of finding work.
In addition, the budget announced the future jobs fund and young persons guarantee. Future jobs fund places will be available for older people from disadvantaged areas who are facing significant barriers to employment.
1 Jun 2009 : Column 106W
Mr. Burstow: 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. 
Mr. McNulty: 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.
Unemployment: Young People
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assistance his Department provides for newly unemployed young people. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government are committed to giving everyone the support they need to find employment as quickly as possible, whatever their age.
On 6 April 2009, as part of the Government’s response to the economic downturn, the Department for Work and Pensions put in place extra support for newly unemployed customers. This will be available from the initial interview at Jobcentre Plus, and can be tailored for those who have recently left a professional or executive job. It will include information and advice about the latest job search techniques and coaching on how to make the most of transferable skills, delivered through one hour group information sessions and one on one advice and coaching.
In addition to this, since last autumn the Department has quadrupled the available funding for the Rapid Response Service, which provides advice and support to customers facing redundancy. It has also extended Local Employment Partnerships, the Adviser Discretion Fund and Access to Work so they are available to customers from the first day of their claim, alongside the support they receive from their Jobcentre Plus personal adviser.
This help is available to customers of all ages to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance of finding work.
For young people who are in danger of slipping into long-term unemployment, funding was provided in the Budget for a guaranteed offer of a job, work-focused training, or meaningful activity to all 18 to 24-year-olds before they have reached the 12 month stage of their claim to jobseeker’s allowance. We expect this to be available from early 2010, but we are aiming to get an offer in place as soon as possible, with some jobs available as early as October 2009.
1 Jun 2009 : Column 106W
Early Day Motion - EDM 1379
UNEMPLOYMENT AND OLDER WORKERS 28.04.2009
That this House expresses concern at the recent sharp increases in unemployment; welcomes the Government's announcement of 1.7 billion of funding for Jobcentre Plus; notes that those over 50 years old have lost their jobs at the highest percentage rate over the past year and that the chance of older men finding future employment falls by a quarter each year they are out of the labour market; recognises that the skills, experience and contribution of older workers should not be lost to the economy; and calls on the Government to introduce a new package of support for unemployed people over the age of 50 years to be made available within three months of them losing their jobs and to train Jobcentre Plus staff to improve the support provided to older clients, including targeted work with older clients who need to change their careers, who face age discrimination and who sometimes need confidence-building for interviews.