§ Mr. Ian McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list the general grounds for rejection of financial assistance from the travel-to-interview scheme; 
(2) how many applications have been received, on a regional basis, for financial assistance from the travel-to-interview scheme since its inception; what is the total cost of the scheme; and what is the total budget allocation for the scheme; 
(3) how many appeals have been held as a result of rejection of financial assistance from the travel-to-interview scheme; and how many times the rejection of financial assistance has been overturned on appeal; 
(4) how many applications, on a regional basis, for financial assistance from the travel-to-interview scheme have been rejected since its inception. 
§ Miss Widdecombe
Responsibility for the subject of the questions has been delegated to the Employment214W 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. Ian McCartney, dated 20 June 1995:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions on the Travel to Interview Scheme (TIS).The Travel to Interview Scheme helps unemployed people attend job interviews beyond normal daily travelling distance by meeting the costs of the journey, and where necessary the costs of an overnight stay. In accordance with the rules of the scheme, the general grounds for rejection of applications are as follows:
- application was not made in advance;
- applicant was not unemployed for four weeks or more;
- interview was not beyond normal daily travelling distance;
- applicant was not resident in the area for the past four weeks;
- job was for less than 30 hours per week;
- job was not expected to last for more than 12 months;
- job was for self-employment;
- the salary was above £25,000 limit;
- interview was not in the United Kingdom;
- no help can be given for second or subsequent interviews.However, I should explain that we are presently testing changes to the rules in the North West region. The changes include the removal of the salary limit, help with second and subsequent interviews, help for some self-employed jobs, and a more relaxed interpretation of the 12 month rule.The scheme was introduced in late 1986. The total cost of the scheme between April 1987–March 1995 has been £8.7m enabling attendance at over 395,000 interviews. The allocation of funds for 1995/96 amounts to £2.2m.The normal process for appeals against rejected TIS applications operates on two levels. Initially, applicants can ask for their case to be reconsidered by the jobcentre manager. Where the jobcentre manager endorses the original decision and the applicant is still dissatisfied with the explanation, a final appeal can be made to the Employment Service Head Office.I cannot give you the total number of appeals for Head Office consideration since the schemes's inception, as records are kept for 2 years only. The following figures cover the period from April 1993–March 1995:
- appeals 34
- number of rejections overturned on appeal 6
- The number of appeals cleared at the local office level is not recorded.
- The table below shows the number of applications made from April 1987–March 1995 and the number of applications rejected by region.
Regions Applications made from April 1987–March 1995 Applications rejected from April 1987–March 1995 Northern 36,989 7,485 Yorkshire and Humberside 40,510 9,188 East Midlands and Eastern 40,540 10,620 London and South East 56,045 13,040 South West 37,328 9,437
Regions Applications made from April 1987-March 1995 Applications rejected from April 1987-March 1995 Wales 27,081 7,843 West Midlands 29,311 7,429 North West 61,827 10,713 Scotland 54,245 13,117
I hope this is helpful.