§ 6. Mr. Connarty
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what policies she intends to pursue to increase the opportunity for full-time employment for people on jobseeker's allowance. 
§ Mr. Connarty
Is the Minister not ashamed to be still dragging his heels and refusing to bring in regulations to ban sex advertisements in publications such as those revealed this year in a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney)? Will he now do something about that and, as we have requested, bring in regulations to ban advertisements for sexual services in publications in jobcentres, which up to this point he has refused to do?
§ Mr. Forth
I can understand the hon. Gentleman getting excited about this subject, but we should al I take it—[Interruption.] There is no point in the hon. Gentleman waving bits of paper around and shouting about bans. The matter is being dealt with in the proper way. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is taking a direct interest in the matter and—
§ Mr. Forth
The hon. Gentleman keeps shouting from a sedentary position about a ban. That seems to be the only thought that occurs to Opposition Members when a problem arises. This is a complicated matter. It is not simple or straightforward. My right hon. Friend and I have discussed it with the chief executive of the Employment Agency, new guidelines have been prepared and legal advice has been taken. The new guidelines will be issued shortly and they will be in the public domain. The matter has been dealt with in a calm, proper and constructive way.
§ Sir Alan Haselhurst
Will my hon. Friend give careful consideration to the postal signing arrangements for the 268 jobseeker's allowance, bearing in mind the fact that some of the people seeking full-time employment have particular specialist backgrounds and their continued appearance at jobcentres at some cost to themselves will not necessarily add materially to their prospects of obtaining the full-time employment for which they are experienced?
§ Mr. Forth
I understand my hon. Friend's point, but it is not only proper but desirable that those people who unfortunately are out of work and claiming benefit deserve the fullest possible support from the expert staff in our jobcentres. We make appropriate, realistic and proper arrangements for people to claim by post where that is appropriate, but equally it is right that the bulk of people who can make a journey easily should come to our jobcentres, share their experiences with us and receive our advice and support. That includes people of all types and backgrounds. To start to try to make a distinction of the kind that my hon. Friend understandably suggests would probably be rather difficult and I am not sure that it would be wise.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
Will the Minister acknowledge that the Employment Service is using jobseeker's directions and the threat of benefit sanctions to drive people to take part-time jobs which they cannot legally be required to take? Should he not also be very worried that less than 3 per cent. of the Government's target number of employers have availed themselves of the relief from national insurance contributions offered when they recruit someone who has been unemployed for more than two years? Does that not show that the policy has been badly designed and badly implemented?
§ Mr. Forth
On the first point, if the hon. Gentleman has any evidence of his allegation, I hope that he will share it with me so that I can have it properly considered, but I am not happy with his implication that part-time work is somehow undesirable, menial or no good. As he should know, many people welcome the opportunity to move from unemployment into part-time work, either of their own choice or often as a useful stepping stone into full-time employment, if that is what they want. Part-time employment has a proper part to play in our labour market and we wish to encourage such employment at all times. However, I should like to follow up the hon. Gentleman's question, so if he is referring to specific cases, perhaps he will please let me have details of them.