Results 161–180 of 12167 for speaker:David Gauke

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: It is the case that there are sites in Chesterfield and Mansfield, which are within half an hour by car from the site that the hon. Lady mentions. It is anticipated that at least 75% of the staff—probably more—can be redeployed to other sites and will not be in a position in which redundancy is relevant, and of course the DWP is seeking to ensure that that number can be maximised.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: There is an important outreach role that jobcentre staff can and will perform. It is simply not the case that all work is done within jobcentres themselves. Staff can provide outreach services in other sites as well, as indeed they will increasingly do.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: As I have said, 99% register for universal credit online. Also, those who are seeking work are expected to spend up to 35 hours a week searching for work, and that includes the time taken to get to jobcentres, for example. In very particular cases, if there are those who are not able to make it to jobcentres, other arrangements can be made.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: I can give my hon. Friend an assurance that outreach work will continue in Shipley. Not just in Shipley but more generally, DWP will look to work with staff as much as possible to accommodate their preferences. I know that my hon. Friend has already met the Minister for Employment to discuss this matter, but I dare say that he and I will have further conversations on this point in the near...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: Let us be clear about the employment record over the past seven years. We have nearly 3 million people in work, youth unemployment has fallen by 375,000, the employment rate is at a record high and unemployment is at the lowest level since 1975. Some of the credit has to go to what jobcentres are delivering and the policies that the Government have pursued—those things have assisted. It...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend raises an important point. There are steps that we take to assist more vulnerable claimants, such as being able to make visits, where necessary, in particular circumstances. That will continue, but it is absolutely right that we require those who are able to visit a jobcentre to do so.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his recognition of the work that has been done to help those who were working miners. I think I am fairly confident in saying that employment numbers and unemployment numbers have moved in the right direction in his constituency over the past seven years, which may reflect the changing political nature of his constituency. The staff at the Bolsover site are...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: I agree with my hon. Friend. That is the right point, and the support that people need can often be better provided in well-equipped, modern—sometimes larger—jobcentres than by using the estate that may have served us well 10 or 15 years ago but is now out of date.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: On the hon. Gentleman’s point about Sheffield Eastern Avenue centre closing, let me reassure him that outreach will be put in place in the local community, so there will continue to be a service in his area. The number of jobcentres in Sheffield is being reduced from seven to six, but in the context of that city that is the right move so that we have got six properly functioning, fully...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend makes a good point. Other Governments have also changed the estate system for jobcentres, and I do not think that was by any means disastrous. His point about opening at weekends is interesting. We would have the facility to do that, and we will keep it under review, considering value for money and so on. If there was a good case for that, it is certainly something we could do.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: We do not expect people to miss appointments. As I said earlier, people looking for jobs are expected to spend 35 hours a week doing so, which should enable them to travel from Batley to Dewsbury in the time available. We would expect people to make appointments, but we would look at the individual circumstances if somebody has missed an appointment to take into account whether there might be...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend is right—it is outcomes that matter. In some circumstances co-location in itself may have benefits and in others having a jobcentre that is modern, properly designed and of sufficient scale to provide a range of services to claimants helps to improve outcomes. It is improved outcomes that we want.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: Let us put this in context: 97% of JSA claimants are not sanctioned every month. Given the number of hours we expect people to spend looking for work, I think travelling to a jobcentre, just as people travel to work, is the way life operates for most people. If there are particular circumstances that result in someone being late for an assessment or meeting, they can be taken into account.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend makes a good point. One could be drawn into a comparison of the records on employment of Governments of different sorts. I am proud of this Government’s record. We have an important role in supporting people in getting into work, staying in work and improving their position. I would prefer to spend the resources we have on doing that as efficiently and effectively as...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: Those who have been out of work for 13 weeks or more have access to a jobcentre discount card, which reduces their travel costs by half. A lot of people in their daily lives have to travel distances and be somewhere on time. We expect people to spend 35 hours a week searching for work, and that can include allowing good time to travel from home to a jobcentre. I think that is perfectly...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Governments have to ensure that public money is spent sensibly, and one of the ways of doing that is by rationalising the estate. Keeping open under-utilised jobcentres is simply not a good use of taxpayers’ money, and it does not do claimants any good either.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: I make the point to the hon. Gentleman that there are many more appointments for which claimants are late than there are sanctions. It is simply not the case that being late automatically means a sanction; a judgment is made. I think we also have to recognise that many people in work have to catch three buses to get to work and are expected to be there on time, so I do not think it is...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: The reality is that services will improve. I strongly believe that universal credit, in particular, will result in an improved welfare system, and we are increasing the number of work coaches. Every region and nation in the United Kingdom will see an increase in the number of frontline staff providing services, and Scotland is no exception. I have visited jobcentres to see the sort of work...

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: Liverpool has the third-highest concentration of jobcentres for larger cities, but I know that my hon. Friend the Minister for Employment will be happy to meet the hon. Gentleman to discuss this further.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures (6 Jul 2017)

David Gauke: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Jobcentres are certainly very open to partnership working. She highlights an area where more progress is needed, and indeed where we might be able to help.


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