§ Mr. Ralph Howell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will institute a further study of workfare in the United States of America to investigate how workfare has helped in recent years to alleviate the problems associated with single-parent families and paternal maintenance.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
While we are, of course, interested in the arrangements made by other countries for lone-parent families, we have no plans to institute a study of workfare. Lone parents in the United Kingdom are not required to be available for work as a condition of receiving benefit. They are able to decide for themselves what is best for them and their children and we believe this is right. But maintenance is also very important. We are particularly concerned about the number of lone-parent82W
§ Mr. Nicholls
An increasing element of empoloyer contributions is expected. It is impossible to forecast the gross cost per trainee week for employers, as this depends on the efficiency with which TECs, providers and employers can deliver training.