HC Deb 01 November 1988 vol 139 cc606-7W
Mr. Nicholas Bennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what measures are taken by his Department when an applicant for unemployment benefit declares that he is available for work in an occupation for which there are vacancies in the area in which the applicant resides.

Mr. Nicholls

All applicants for unemployment benefit are required to be available for work without undue restriction. All recipients of unemployment benefit are encouraged to make full use of the extensive job-seeking service provided by the employment service local offices. The White Paper published in February announced that the Department would be progressively moving towards a situation where newly unemployed clients were interviewed by higher grade staff. Through longer and fuller interviews by staff of a higher grade clients will be given positive help to enable them to return to work as quickly as possible. Gradually as offices introduce the new system interviewers will have details of all vacancies which have been notified to the local jobcentre. During the interview the interviewer will, by consultation with the client, establish whether there are any suitable vacancies for which the client could apply. If so, arrangements will be made for the client to attend for an interview with the employer. This new system is being progressively introduced and will be fully in place by April 1989 when some 2,000 new client advisers will be engaged in this work.