HC Deb 05 March 1998 vol 307 c753W
Mr. Gordon Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has made to the Department of Social Security about the recommendation of the Dearing Report to conduct a review of the interaction between entitlement to JSA and part-time study. [30240]

Mr. Alan Howarth

No such representations have been made. DfEE Ministers have the lead responsibility for JSA and study rules. We have already taken action on the Jobseekers' Allowance rules on education and training. We have extended the JSA Workskill pilots so that there are now pilots in eight areas allowing people unemployed for six months or more to undertake employment-related courses of education and training, full or part-time, for up to a year while on JSA. The pilots aim to test whether and how different benefit arrangements help unemployed people obtain and retain employment.

We are also introducing more flexible arrangements in our New Deals for unemployed people. The New Deal for 18 to 24-year-olds includes an option of full-time education and training for up to a year. People on this option will receive a training allowance in place of JSA. Those aged 25 years and over, unemployed for two years or more, will be allowed from June 1998 to undertake full-time employment-related education and training for up to a year while receiving JSA. Learning for Work—full-time education and training—is also an option in all five prototype Employment Zones.

We will further review the JSA rules on education and training in the light of experience of the Workskill pilots and our welfare to work programme.

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