HC Deb 14 May 2002 vol 385 cc580-1W
John Mann

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to involve the private sector in Jobcentre Plus and other emerging departmental programmes as a means for the social inclusion of hard-to-help client groups. [53098]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

Jobcentre Plus and its predecessor the Employment Service has always involved the private sector in delivering its programmes for unemployed people.

Its contracted provision including programme centres, worked based learning for adults, basic employability training, short intensive basic skills courses and basic skills independent assessments is largely delivered by contracts with the private sector.

Under the New Deals, elements of the Gateway, Options and intensive activity period are also delivered by the private sector. In addition, the private sector lead in the delivery of the New Deals in ten areas of the country and there is currently a competition under way for future private sector led New Deal contracts in these areas together with two new areas. In all Jobcentre Plus has several thousand contracts with over 1,000 providers to deliver programmes for individual jobless people. These providers are drawn from the private, voluntary and public sectors; we know that the majority, probably about three quarters of the total are private sector organisations.

Cross cutting initiatives such as action teams and new programmes such as Progress2Work, Outreach and StepUP will also involve the private sector as do employment zones which are entirely private sector led.

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