HC Deb 19 April 1995 vol 258 c182W
Mr. McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when the jobseeker's allowance pilot was set up in Guildford in Surrey; and whether there has been a reduction in the unemployment register for Guildford since the pilot commenced. [19136]

Miss Widdecombe

The pilot currently running in the Employment Service's Guildford district is not a jobseeker's allowance pilot. It is part of a project aimed at improving and making more efficient ES's existing job-broking and advisory activities, in particular through developing better information technology support. The pilot has been developing and testing a prototype IT system, to deal with functions such as signing, vacancy taking, vacancy search, maintaining client records, carrying out in-work benefit calculations and managing diaries and case loads. The prototype system began operation in four of the five offices in the Guildford district in May 1994.

Between June and December 1994, average unemployment fell by 23 per cent. in the Guildford district.