HC Deb 18 April 1995 vol 258 cc55-6W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) where the pilot scheme for workstart in Coventry is to be located; [19063]

(2) which Department is responsible for the workstart scheme in Coventry; [19059]

(3) if an approved qualification will be granted at the end of the workstart course in Coventry; [19065]

(4) what is the level of subsidies that an employer would be entitled to under the workstart scheme in Coventry; [19061]

(5) what is to be the content of the training for the workstart scheme in Coventry; and what will be the duration of that training; [19064]

(6) what is the level of funding for the workstart scheme in Coventry; [19060]

(7) what is the target number of people to be involved in the workstart scheme in Coventry. [19062]

Miss Widdecombe

Workstart pays a subsidy to employers who recruit very long-term unemployed people. Initial pilots were run in four areas between July 1993 and December 1994. Further pilots, offering 5,000 places, were announced in last Novembers Budget. These new workstart pilots begin this month in the west midlands conurbation, Greater Manchester and Cheshire and are administered through local Employment Service jobcentres. All jobcentres in Coventry will be involved.

In the west midlands, lower and upper limits of £700 and £2,800 have been set for the subsidy with a duration varying between three and 12 months. No targets have been set for the number of people who will participate on workstart in Coventry, and no financial ceilings have been set for individual areas. Some £8 million is available for the pilots as a whole.

Employers receiving a workstart subsidy are not required to offer training leading to an approved qualification. The purpose of the scheme is to help people unemployed over two years back into work.

I wrote on 6 April 1995 to all hon. Members whose constituencies are covered by the workstart pilots informing them of the pilots and enclosing a copy of the press notice.

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