§ Mr. Battle
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of his Department's staff have been trained to deal with the requirements of 16 and 17-year-olds under the procedures announced on 13 March 1989,Official Report, columns 27–28; what was the training involved; and if he will make a statement.
§ Miss Widdecombe
No records are held of the number of staff who have been trained. All appropriate staff receive technical training in the income support benefit provisions for 16 and 17-year-olds. Specialised training is provided for staff who interview young people under the severe hardship provisions, to enable them to recognise the needs of this vulnerable group.