§ Mr. Byers
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many jobfinder's grants have been awarded since its introduction in April(a) nationally and (b) by region; what is the average level of wage received and hours worked by each recipient of a grant; and what is the lowest level of wage rate per hour. 
§ Mr. Forth
Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Stephen Byers, dated 17 July 1995:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about Jobfinder's Grants.Jobfinder's Grant are one off payments, available to assist people who have been unemployed for over two years to return to work. The following table shows the number of Jobfinder's Grants awarded nationally and by Employment Service Region since the programme was introduced on 18 April (22 May in Yorkshire and Humberside Region, where a more flexible variant to the programme is being piloted) up to 7 July, the latest date for which figures are available.
Jobfinder s grant Grants awarded (up to 7 July) National total 1,898 London and South East 234 South West 175 Wales 115 West Midlands 295 North West 285 Scotland 149 Northern 163 Yorkshire and Humberside 92 East Midlands and Easter 390Information on the average level of wage received and hours worked by recipients is not available. The programme is designed to help very long term unemployed people overcome financial difficulties that could deter them from taking relatively low paid jobs. Checks are made that the gross pay in each case is below the specified upper limit of £150 per week (£250 per week in Yorkshire and Humberside Region).I hope this is helpful.