HC Deb 20 May 2004 vol 421 cc1133-4W
Mrs. Gillan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his statement of 14 January 2004,Official Report, column 279WH, on drug testing, which organisation trained the Drug Action Team (DAT) nominated trainers; what the cost was to the Home Office; what the lengths and the dates were of the training courses which the DAT nominated trainers undertook; who accredited the courses; for how many companies the DAT nominated trainers have helped to write drug policies; how the trainers have advertised their availability to train companies; what budget has been allocated to this advertising; and how the Home Office is evaluating the effectiveness of the new DAT nominated trainers. [161186]

Caroline Flint

188 nominated Drug Action Team (DAT) business trainers from 149 DATS have been trained by an independent training company chosen by the Home Office Business Engagement Team and Hertfordshire DAT. In total, 15 training days took place across the country and the overall cost of training, plus the production of a 'Drugs in the Workplace Training Pack' has been approximately £270,000. This came from confiscated asset fund monies that were successfully bid by Kent and Hertfordshire DAT. The training courses so far have not been accredited but plans are being considered for the training to be accredited by the accrediting body City and Guilds.

In total 74 workplace policies have been introduced into companies by DAT business trainers. The way the DAT business trainers have advertised their service varies from DAT to DAT and region to region. As a first approach, DAT business trainers are encouraged to use their network and approach safety critical companies in their area. Other ways of targeting include direct marketing and organising business breakfasts, lunches and seminars to highlight to employers the importance of a drug and alcohol workplace policy. To date there has not been a budget allocated to DATs to promote the workplace policy service however, for those DATs that need additional funding there are a number of funding programmes that Government Office Drugs Teams facilitate. The Home Office as part of Phase 3 (March-December 2004) of the National Workplace Initiative plans to evaluate each of the 74 companies workplace policies. This evaluation will in principle be qualitative and focused on improving services and understanding the usefulness of the policy in the workplace. After this, evaluations at a local level will be down to each DAT.

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