HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 cc43-4W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what is the total budget allocated for informing disabled people and employers about the access-to-work scheme; and what the breakdown of that expenditure is; [103356]

(2) if his Department has produced a marketing strategy for the access-to-work scheme; [103357]

(3) what is the total budget allocated for advertising the access to work scheme; and what is the level of expenditure allocated to advertising on (a) radio, (b) television, (c) newspapers and (d) journals and trade magazines. [103358]

Ms Jowell

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 Mr. Leigh Lewis to Mr. Roger Berry, dated 10 January 2000: As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to reply direct to your questions about the Access to Work programme. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. For the current financial year, we have allocated £450,000 to marketing and promoting the full range of our services for disabled people and their employers. This includes Access to Work, although we do not reserve a specific amount within that total for Access to Work. We carefully consider advertising options but do not allocate specific amounts to advertising on radio, television, newspapers or journals and trade magazines. We are spending £350,000 of the budget on national promotions and the rest is being spent to promote disability programmes and services at regional and local level. Our publicity strategy is to raise awareness of the whole range of support available to disabled people and their employers from our disability services. Thus we generally market these services collectively to give a coherent picture of the support available. We produce, for example, leaflets, audio tapes, videos, posters, advertisements and articles for publication in a range of general and specific disability journals. All such generic advertising includes information on the Access to Work programme. For example, in March 1999, we worked closely with the British Deaf Association to produce a British Sign Language video—Make it Work—about our programmes and services. We used three case studies in the video, two of which specifically promoted Access to Work. We have distributed the video to every Jobcentre and to 1,000 external organisations including clubs, organisations and collages for deaf and hearing impaired people. The leaflets we produce are freely available from Jobcentres, Disability Service Teams and at marketing events, and we produce them in alternative formats. There are specific leaflets for disabled people and employers promoting Access to Work. Disability Employment Advisers use these leaflets on visits to employers to ensure they are aware of Access to Work. We also promote our services, including Access to Work, at many national, regional and local marketing events. For example, we have recently held promotions at the Institute of Personnel and Development Conference and Exhibition, the Confederation of British Industry Conference, and the Access Ability, National Information Day. Access to Work was the central theme of the two employment workshops at the Access Ability event. In addition to our own promotions, the Government's current "See the Person" campaign is designed to raise awareness of the positive contribution disabled people are able to make. The campaign refers directly to the support Access to Work can provide to those in work. I hope this is helpful.