§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will define the special consideration which will be given to women returning to the labour force; and what will be the definition of eligibility for the programme, in the light of the basic requirement to have been unemployed for six months or more.
§ Mr. Nicholls
Women (and men) returning to the labour force after an absence of two years or more for domestic reasons are eligible to join employment training straight away. There is no need to satisfy the normal eligibility condition, namely, being unemployed and held to be available for work for at least six months. Lone parents are eligible to enter through the normal eligibility route or as returners to the labour force. However, in addition, lone parents who have been in receipt of income support on an order book for at least six months, and whose youngest child is in full-time education, can also enter straight away. Childcare costs of up to £50 per week for each child are available to assist all eligible lone parents.