This report follows on from a earlier NAO report (HCP 24, session 2006-07, ISBN 9780102943795). Personal Advisers assess needs of people looking for work and point them towards the right kind of assistance needed to find a job. In 2005-06, Jobcentre Plus had some 9, 300 advisers at a salary cost of Ap238 million, conducting in total 10.8 million jobseeker interviews. They are also the gateway to various New Deal programmes, which has cost Ap5 billion since 1997. With the Government's aim of increasing the employment rate to 80%, personal advisers will have an important role. The Committee has set out a number of conclusions and recommendations, including: that the Department for Work and Pensions aim of assisting 1 million people on benefit into work, will require Jobcentre Plus to keep a good knowledge of employers' short and medium term skill needs as well as training opportunities; Jobcentre Plus should take care to protect advisers from unnecessary administrative work, interruptions of interviews to a minimum and allow more discretion and flexibility to advisers on individual cases; in 2005-06 customers failed to attend around 1.8 million scheduled interviews, whilst customers turned up late on average for around one in six interviews, Jobcentre Plus could do more to remind customers of their responsibilities, but also take account of local transport needs and use text messages and phone calls to remind customers of appointment times; improving the amount of time personal advisers spend with customers is a key element in helping Jobcentre Plus in achieving its efficiency targets and in helping it to be effective in achieving organisational objectives of helping people find work.Customers who call the old 0845 number hear a message redirecting them to the new 0800 number. I very much hope that the Committee will welcome this development. I am writing in similar terms to the Chairman of the Work and Pensionsanbsp;...
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2007-10-09|