HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 c1145W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the financial support available to jobseekers for the cost of travelling to interviews. [64269]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

We recognise that it can sometimes be difficult for unemployed people to meet the cost of travelling to job interviews. The travel to interview scheme, which is available from the first day of unemployment, encourages people to widen their job search by helping with travelling costs to attend interviews outside their usual travel to work area. From June this year we have widened the scope of the scheme to give personal advisers the discretion to make payments for travel to local interviews where the costs exceed £4.

Additional help can also be provided through the Adviser Discretion Fund which gives New Deal personal advisers the opportunity to make available up to £300 for anything that will help a jobseeker obtain a job, or if offered a job, to accept that job. This can include help with the costs of travel to interviews.

Employment Zones are also helping long-term unemployed people in the most deprived areas get and keep work. Employment Zones are about meeting the needs of individuals. They help rebuild the confidence of participants and overcome the barriers to work such as debt, transport and housing problems. Help can be provided through Employment Zones with the cost of travelling to interviews.

Our Action Teams for Jobs, which focus on small areas with particular problems of labour market disadvantage, offer tailored help to enable people overcome barriers to employment. This can include financial assistance to help them secure and retain employment, such as help with the cost of attending job interviews. In addition, we introduced the Transport Projects Fund in April which provides an additional £5 million for Action Teams to address the particular transport difficulties faced by some unemployed people seeking to enter the labour market.