§ Mr. Healey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people called Employment Service Direct in the latest period for which figures are available; what proportion of callers were (i) unemployed and (ii) employed; and what were the placings rates into jobs. 
§ Mr. Andrew Smith
Responsibility for the subject of these questions 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 Richard Foster to Mr. John Healey, dated 18 March 1999.As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked Leigh Lewis to reply to your question about how many people have called Employment Service Direct in the latest period for which figures are available, the proportion of callers who were unemployed and employed and the placings rate into jobs. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mr. Lewis as Chief Executive of the Employment Service. I am replying in his absence.The most recent figures show that almost 53,000 calls were made to Employment Service Direct during the week ending Saturday 13 March. Some 95 per cent. of these calls were from unemployed people. During the same week the Service placed over 1,300 people into work. Since its introduction on 4 January Employment Service Direct has received more than 480,000 calls resulting, so far, in over 9,000 job placings. Some 98 per cent. of these were of unemployed people. Further placings are likely to occur as a result of calls already made as the results of job interviews and submissions become available.I hope this is helpful.