HC Deb 20 January 2004 vol 416 cc1179-80W
Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the arrangements for ensuring the quality and relevance of mandatory work-focused courses for jobseeker's allowance claimants. [145814]

Mr. Browne

Mandatory work-focused training for jobseeker's allowance claimants is purchased through regionally based Jobcentre Plus contracting teams, in consultation with district partners. Provision is delivered through private and not for profit providers and, during development, consideration is given to the recruitment needs of local employers and the training requirements of JSA claimants.

Providers are subject to thorough contractual and quality audits. Individual contract reviews are conducted by Jobcentre Plus field contracts managers and district programme quality management teams. Reviews assess the administration, delivery, quality and propriety of the provisions 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 provision, under the provisions of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. All inspection under the provisions 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.