HC Deb 22 July 2002 vol 389 c812W
Mr. Alan Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many disability advice officers are employed by(a) the Benefits Agency and (b) the Employment Service; and how many of them are able to use sign language. [65524]

Maria Eagle

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive, Leigh Lewis. 1 have asked him to reply to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Alan Campbell, dated June 2002: As Jobcentre Plus is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning the number of disability advice officers and their ability to use sign language. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. Since 1 April 2002 the functions formally performed by the Employment Service and those parts of the Benefits Agency relating to people of working age have been brought together in a new agency, Jobcentre Plus. There are currently within the agency approximately 650 Disability Employment Advisers. No figures are held on how many of those advisers are able to use sign language, but all Jobcentre Plus offices have access to sign language interpreters when required. I hope this is helpful.