HC Deb 09 May 1995 vol 259 c440W
Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment on what basis he decided the target of 9.5 per cent. of initial claim inquiries made to the Employment Service not to be pursued as new claims, target No. 7 in the Employment Service's annual performance agreement for 1995–96; what factors have led to an increase in this target from the equivalent target in the annual performance agreement for 1994–95; and if he will make a statement. [23048]

Miss Widdecombe

The purpose of this target is to ensure that each client has been: informed of all the conditions necessary to qualify for unemployment benefit; referred to make a claim for the appropriate benefit and offered any suitable vacancies before attending a new claims interview. It is the client's decision whether or not to pursue a claim to benefit.

In deciding the target level for 1995–96, a number of factors have been taken into account. These include performance against the target during 1994–95 and the labour market and the operational context in which the Employment Service will be working in the coming year.