§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what training he gives to counter clerks, particularly from the Post Office, to enable them adequately to explain to applicants the details of the various social security benefits which may be available and how to complete the forms needed to apply for them.
§ Mr. Ennals
The staff of the Department, whether recruited from the Post Office or elsewhere, attend training courses dealing with the particular benefits on which they are employed. In addition, staff who have counter duties are given special training. This covers such matters as how to make sure the caller's inquiry has been understood and how to obtain the full facts relating to the inquiry. Counter staff are trained to give advice about claim forms and to help in completing the forms if necessary, and to arrange for advice about other benefits to which the claimant may be entitled.