HC Deb 23 April 1999 vol 329 cc715-6W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what (i) general training is provided for personal advisers on New Deals and (ii) specific training is provided for personal advisers assisting(a) young people, (b) lone parents, (c) people with disabilities and (d) older people. [77541]

Mr. Andrew Smith

Responsibility for the subject of this 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 Leigh Lewis to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 23 April 1999:

As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked me to reply direct to your question regarding; (i) the general training provided for personal advisers on New Deal and (ii) specific training provided for personal advisers assisting (a) young people, (b) lone parents, (c) people with disabilities and (d) older people. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.

All Employment Service staff, including Personal Advisers, have access to a comprehensive range of training covering all the knowledge and skills they need to do their job. The amount of training a Personal Adviser will require is dependent on their role and responsibilities, their previous experience and their existing level of knowledge and skills.

As an indication only, if a person was recruited to undertake basic advisory duties and had no previous knowledge of Employment Service business, they would require a minimum of 23 days training to be considered as having a basic level of competence. However, this does not include consolidation, assimilation and experience, all of which are crucial elements of the development of advisory knowledge and skills. This training includes job-broking, communication, interviewing and caseload management skills, knowledge of Employment Legislation, Jobseeker's Allowance and other benefits, including In-Work Benefits, Employment and Training Opportunities and the use of our IT systems.

In addition to the general training, if Advisers were to undertake specialist Advisory duties, for example, New Deal Adviser for People with Disabilities, they would require anything between 2 days and 6 weeks further training.

I will deal with the training provided for the specific types of New Deal Personal Advisers in the order that you have raised them.

a]Young People: 18–24 years

The general training described above gives the Personal Advisers the skills and knowledge to deal with this client group.

d] Lone Parents

In addition to the basic level of training detailed above, which Advisers have before attending a New Deal for Lone Parents Adviser training programme, Advisers are provided with an additional 27 days of training. This specific programme covers all the unique knowledge and skills required to understand and advise this particular client group. This includes: an overview of the issues and problems of lone parents (provided by external organisations NCOPF, Gingerbread & The Daycare Trust;) new business processes and cultural requirements; detailed benefits and allowances training; advanced interviewing, presentational, marketing & representational skills.

c] People with Disabilities

As before, the amount of training required will be dependent on an Adviser's previous experience and their current level of competence. If they have not previously been a Disability Employment Adviser they will need 5 weeks of training as described below—Block A and Block B. People who have already had the 3 week training for DEAs—Block A, would only need the 2 week New Deal specific event—Block B.

Block A training includes: non-directive employment related counselling skills; issues and problems faced by people with new or long standing disabilities—delivered by external organisations; disability awareness, eg, mental health, learning disabilities, hearing and visual impairment, epileps—delivered by specialist speakers such as RNIB and RNID.

Block B New Deal specific training includes: working in partnership and cultural requirements; employability measures and issues for gaining, retaining and sustaining employment; holistic approaches and medical conditions—provided by an external speaker; presentation and representational skills.

d] Older People—25+

New Deal Personal Advisers dealing with the 25+ age group would have an additional 2 day event including eligibility, client self-marketing, identifying and submitting to suitable vacancies/other provision and follow through.


This is a new initiative. Work is currently being undertaken to establish the training needs of the Personal Advisers dealing with this group.

You may also be interested to know that all training given to New Deal Personal Advisers has been designed to help them achieve an S/NVQ in Guidance.

I hope this response covers all the information you wanted.