§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the reasons for the closure of the job club held at Burslem Methodist mission; and if she will review the decision to withdraw funding.826W
§ Mr. McLoughlin
Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Mike Fogden to Ms. Joan Walley, dated 26 November 1992:As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your Parliamentary Question to her about the closure of the Jobclub held at Burslem Methodist Mission. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency.Jobclubs continue to be both popular with the people who join and an effective way of helping them to find work. Since Jobclubs were introduced in 1984, 410,000 people have been helped to find work, and just over 130,000 others have gone on to other positive outcomes such as training. Following the announcement made by Secretary of State earlier this month, a substantial expansion of the programme will take place in 1993/94. We will then be able to help some 295,000 people, more than ever before.To ensure that the funds available to operate Jobclub are used in the most effective way, decisions about the size and shape of the programme are taken by my area managers. They have the responsibility to target the resources available in a way which will help the greatest number of unemployed jobseekers. Because there was under utilization of capacity, Mrs. Joy Cross, my Area Manager for Staffordshire, decided to consolidate provision in the area and to close the Jobclub at the Burslem Methodist Mission operated by BTG Training and Consultancy. This decision was not taken lightly as we recognise that BTG is an organisation with which we had a good working relationship.Alternative places will be offered to members in the remaining Jobclub in Burslem or, if preferred, in Hanley or Kidsgrove. Fares to attend Jobclubs are refunded in full to those who attend so no one will incur extra expenditure as a result of the changes.In addition to taking members from the Jobclub which is closing, the remaining Jobclubs still have enough capacity to meet the expected demand for places from unemployed people for the foreseeable future.As decided by the Administration Committee of the House of Commons, Chief Executive replies to written Parliamentary Questions will now be published in the Official report. I will also place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.