HC Deb 28 February 1977 vol 927 cc43-5W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the estimated expenditure on each of the following schemes in the last month for which figures are available: community industry, the employment transfer scheme, job search, the job creation programme, the job release scheme, temporary employment subsidy, the training opportunities scheme, the work expenditure programme and youth employment subsidy; what proportion of the expenditure on each scheme was on administration; how many persons were assisted by each scheme in the last month for which figures are available; if he considers each scheme is achieving its object; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Golding

Not all the information is available in exactly the form requested. The information on the schemes which my Department administers is as follows:

  1. (a) At 18th February, about 180,000 jobs were being preserved by payment of temporary employment subsidy at an estimated gross cost of £161 million, allowing for payment continuing for a full 12 months in respect of each of these jobs. This estimate does not include expenditure on administration of the scheme, which is included in the total administration costs of my Department, and no separate figure is available. I am satisfied that the subsidy is achieving its object of encouraging companies to defer redundancies.
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  3. (b) From the commencement of the scheme on 1st October 1976 to 18th February 1977, 9,590 applications for youth employment subsidy had been approved. Assuming all applications will continue for the full period of 26 weeks for which the subsidy is payable the estimated cash commitment was almost £2.5 million. This figure does not include administrative costs, which are included in the total administration costs of my Department, and no separate figure is available. This scheme is achieving its aim of persuading employers to employ young people who have been unemployed for over six months.
  4. (c) During the four-week period to 22nd February a total of £600,000 was spent under the job release scheme. The administrative costs of the scheme arc included in the administrative costs of my Department and are estimated at 3 per cent. of the total. On 23rd February, 7,259 people were receiving allowances. While the take-up of the scheme has so far been lower than was hoped, it is making a valuable contribution to helping the unemployed by creating vacancies and by reducing the competition amongst the unemployed for the jobs which are available.
  5. (d) The estimated expenditure on community industry from central Government funds in December 1976 was £670,000, of which nearly 30 per cent. was on administration. On 17th February 3,700 young people were employed in the scheme. Community industry is achieving its objective, which is to help young people who find it difficult to settle in employment, by engaging them in community work projects under intensive supervision.
The Manpower Services Commission has provided the following information about the schemes for which they are responsible: (e) During January 1977, £4.18 million was paid to sponsors of projects under the job creation programme. No separate figures are available for administrative costs during that month, but it is estimated that the cost of administering the programme will be just over 2 per cent. of the total allocation of funds. At 24th February, projects involving over 39,000 jobs were in operation. The programme is achieving its object of providing worthwhile temporary work for people who would otherwise be unemployed. (f) Payments under the employment transfer scheme and job search schemes in the month ending 31st January 1977 were £891,897 and £8,635, respectively. It is estimated that in the same period the costs of administration were £91,250 and £880. Statistics about the number of people assisted by the schemes are collected quarterly—the number of moves assisted in the quarter which ended on 30th September 1976 were 6,205 and 3,501, respectively. Both schemes are currently under review. (g) By 18th February, schemes involving 11,656 places had been approved under the work experience programme, at an estimated financial commitment of £5.26 million. It is estimated that less than 5 per cent. of total expenditure on the programme will be on staff salaries and expenses. The programme is achieving its aim of providing unemployed young people with an introduction to working life and an opportunity to gain practical experience of a range of different tasks in employment. (h)In January 1977, total expenditure on the training opportunities scheme—TOPS—was £17.27 million, of which £3.625 million was spent on administration. At the end of January there were 48,714 people receiving training under TOPS. The scheme is providing opportunities for a large number of individuals to increase their skills and is helping to build up the stock of skilled manpower which will be needed as the economy begins to recover.