HC Deb 29 November 2001 vol 375 cc1137-8W
Mr. Clappison

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that personal advisers in the ONE programme are adequately trained in work-focused initiatives. [11924]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

There is a Learning and Assessment Framework (LAF) in place for the ONE pilots, which supports the structured training and development of the staff performing various roles in ONE offices. As part of this, all personal advisers undertake an assessment of knowledge and skills required to carry out their job. This self-assessment covers all areas of their work as advisers, including competence in conducting work-focused interviews. Where training needs are identified, the LAF provides information on the various learning tools available through ONE Training Team, Benefits Agency and Employment Service Regional Training Centres. To meet their training needs attendance on a course or open learning may be appropriate, or they may arrange to meet with local voluntary organisations to widen their knowledge and understanding of clients with special needs. Regular reviews of the progress made towards meeting identified learning needs is an integral part of the staff performance and appraisal system.

Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for work and Pensions what his policy is on the provision of separate information on the outcome of participation in ONE by people with mental illnesses; and if he will make a statement. [7989]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

Results from the ONE evaluation about the experiences of sick or disabled people, including those with mental illness, have been published in the Department's Research Series (numbers 126, 139, 140, 149 and 150) and In-house report number 84.

Sick or disabled clients, including those with mental illness, have generally viewed the ONE service positively. When personal advisers have tailored their help to clients' circumstances, their advice and guidance has been well received.

The ONE client survey examines experiences of and outcomes from ONE for different groups of clients. Information on clients' individual characteristics, including the nature of their health problems, was also collected. Where differences between the experiences of clients with mental illnesses compared with sick or disabled clients as a whole are identified, these will be reported. The first survey information relating to clients with mental illnesses should be published later this year.