Job Action Teams

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th October 2001.

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Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross Labour, Dundee West 2:30 pm, 15th October 2001

What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of action teams for jobs.

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

Action teams for jobs have already helped more than 13,500 people into work in some of the most disadvantaged parts of our country. The two key elements to the teams' success are the outreach work and local flexibility. The teams focus on people's abilities, help people into work whenever that is possible and provide the right support when it is not. I am pleased to confirm that one of the new teams announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State earlier today is starting operations in my hon. Friend's constituency today.

Photo of Mr Ernie Ross Mr Ernie Ross Labour, Dundee West

We have been waiting for this to happen and working closely with our colleagues in the Employment Service. Following my experience of 18 miserable years under the Tories, one change is very clear. Importantly for people who are seriously disadvantaged and need to find employment, people in the Employment Service can now do the job that they were employed to do: get people into work. The atmosphere in the Dundee and Tayside office is one that is likely to lead to success.

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

My hon. Friend's remarks echo my own experience. When I visit Employment Service premises, I find a willingness to accept the Government's new proactive approach, and indeed to do so with enthusiasm. The new elements are well known. Local flexibility and the outreach work of the action teams are proving very effective, and I am sure that that will be the case in my hon. Friend's constituency.

Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Shadow Minister (Education)

If the local flexibility available in the employment zones is effective, why does the Minister not extend it throughout the country?

Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Minister (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

We are testing a range of service delivery mechanisms, and of course it is our objective to roll out Jobcentre Plus, which contains many of the elements, and draws on the experience, of the ONE pilots and the action zones.