HC Deb 24 July 2002 vol 389 cc1580-1W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what evaluation he has made of the number of jobs that will be lost as a result of the closure of rural jobcentres; how many rural jobcentres will be closed; how many new Jobcentre Plus facilities will be established in towns; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the closure of local jobcentres in rural areas on rural employment seekers and local businesses. [72746]

Mr Nicholas Brown

The integrated Jobcentre Plus offices, which we will be extending throughout Great Britain over the next few years, will open up more employment opportunities by offering a greatly improved, work focused service to all adults of working age who are not in work.

In some rural locations existing Jobcentres are likely to be replaced as part of this programme by alternative forms of service delivery. Our aim will be to maintain the service we offer through the use of telephone and internet based services and through the use of partner organisations. Detailed decisions, location by location, will be taken only after discussion with local authorities and other organisations.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the turnover of staff was in jobcentres in(a) Somerset and (b) the UK in (i) 1999–2000, (ii) 2000–01 and (iii) 2001–02. [69395]

Mr Nicholas Brown

The available information is in the table.

Turnover of staff in the Employment Service in Great Britain (leavers as a percentage of staff in post)a
1999–2000 b
2000–01 11.1
2001–02 10


Jobcentre Plus Personnel


a Staff turnover figures cover all Employment Service staff, approximately 90 per cent. of whom work in jobcentres.

b Staff turnover figures for 1999–2000 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Staff turnover information for Somerset is not available.

Mr. Heath

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list, by region, those jobcentres which will by the end of 2003 be(a) converted to jobcentre plus and (b) closed. [73442]

Mr Nicholas Brown

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive, Leigh Lewis. I have asked him to reply to the hon. Member.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Heath dated 24 July 2002: As Jobcentre Plus is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the conversion of Jobcentres to Jobcentre Plus offices. This falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. Jobcentre Plus has brought together the working age parts of the Benefits Agency and the Employment Service. We began the process of bringing the work of Benefit Offices and Jobcentres together with the opening of 56 integrated Jobcentre Plus offices in 2001. We have also announced plans to open more integrated offices in 25 of our 90 Districts by the end of March 2003. I have arranged for a list of these Districts to be placed in the Library. Plans are currently being developed for conversion work to take place later in 2003 and beyond. It is not therefore possible to provide an overall number of offices which may close over the roll out period. I hope this is helpful.