HC Deb 14 July 2003 vol 409 cc77-8W
Paul Holmes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints against providers of New Deal placements and training have been made; how many New Deal placement and training providers have had their contract cancelled owing to(a) ineffective training and (b) poor employment practices; what other action has been taken against providers of ineffective training and poor employment practices; how the training quality of New Deal placements is assessed; and if he will make a statement. [122467]

Mr. Browne

The information requested regarding numbers of complaints against New Deal providers and numbers of contracts cancelled is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

All New Deal providers are subject to thorough contractual and quality audits. Individual contract reviews are conducted by Jobcentre Plus contract managers and District Programme Quality Management Teams. Reviews assess the administration, delivery, quality and propriety of the provision being delivered against the requirements set out in providers' contracts. In addition, the Adult Learning Inspectorate in England, and Estyn in Wales, play a pivotal role in the quality assurance of New Deal provision, under the provisions of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. All inspection under the requirements of the Act is carried out in accordance with the Common Inspection Framework. The framework focuses on the learner, and on evaluating the effectiveness of education and training in meeting all learners' needs.

New Deal providers who fail to meet their contractual requirements, or who fall below accepted quality levels, are subject to thorough improvement strategies and action plans agreed between them and Jobcentre Plus. Where no improvements have taken place within agreed

New Deal for Young People—Spending on options
£ million
Option 1997–981 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–032
Full-time Education and Training 0 19 36 34 23 18
Voluntary Sector 0 13 38 39 36 26
Environment Task Force 0 12 42 42 42 27
Employment 0 19 28 18 15 16
1 NDYP started in January 1998 and, as participation in the New Deal options normally commenced after a four month Gateway period, the spend on the NDYP options was very small and so is rounded to zero.
2 Estimated out-turn as Jobcentre Plus accounts for 2002–03 are not yet finalised. Figures will be available when the Jobcentre Plus Annual Report is published later this year.


Jobcentre Plus

timescales, action is taken to terminate the contract in accordance with contractual terms and conditions. When re-tendering or extending contracts, such quality issues are considered and, where relevant evidence exists, this is considered as part of the decision to award or extend. Where a serious irregularity or fraud is identified, Jobcentre Plus retains the right to terminate contracts with immediate effect.