To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the costs of (a) purchase and maintenance of the 6,000 new computers and associated software and (b) staff training associated with the roll out of universal credit announced by his Department on 10 July 2013.
We are actively considering the commercial options for the supply of the hardware and software to support this service and as such all figures are commercial in confidence. The new PCs will increase digital access in our local Jobcentres, so that our customers can more easily access a wide range of on-line services offered by DWP, not solely universal credit. This supports our move to digital service provision.
We are also introducing some aspects of universal credit early across all of our Jobcentres. We estimate we will need to re-train 20,000 staff to introduce the claimant commitment across 36 districts. Cost of staff training will include delivery and backfill costs while staff are away on training. The costs and timescales remain subject to review as the detailed plans for this next phase of implementation are worked through.