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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on the Job Training Programme

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on the Job Training Programme on 20th November 1986.


Mr. Ernie Ross Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will be eligible for free prescriptions whilst on the scheme.

Mr. Major Participants in the job training scheme receiving housing benefit supplement will be entitled to free prescriptions in in the same way as recipients of supplementary benefit. Other participants will be able to claim refunds on the ground of low income and if they were entitled to receive to refunds before going on the course they will continue to receive them so long as their circumstances remain unchanged.

Mr. Ernie Ross Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will be eligible for free schools meals for their families whilst on the scheme;

(2) if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will still be eligible for additional benefits such as single payments.

Mr. Major Participants in the job training scheme receiving housing benefit supplement will be entitled to free school meals and to single payments in the same way as recipients of supplementary benefit. Other trainees will have no entitlement to single payments under supplementary benefit rules nor is there a statutory obligation on local authorities to provide free school meals on the ground of low income, although most do. However, people on the scheme found to have lost entitlement to either of these benefits will be compensated by additions to the training allowance.

Mr. Ernie Ross Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will still he eligible for diet additions whilst on the scheme;

(2) if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will still be eligible for heating allowances whilst on the scheme;

(3) if he will make a statement setting out the benefit entitlement position of those accepting places on the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme begun in selected areas.

Mr. Major Instead of receiving benefit, a participant in the new job training scheme will receive a training allowance which will be equal to the total amount of unemployment and/or supplementary benefit in payment immediately before the course started. This will include any dietary and heating additions paid as part of the supplementary benefit. The training allowance will be increased during the course if the person's benefit would have been increased on a change of circumstances, but it will not be decreased if there is a change of circumstances that would have reduced or eliminated the benefit had he remained unemployed.

Mr. Ernie Ross Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee will still be eligible for certificated housing benefit whilst on the scheme.

Mr. Major Participants in the job training scheme will not be entitled to supplementary benefit and certificated housing benefit ceases automatically when supplementary benefit stops. However, the trainees will be entitled to standard housing benefit, topped up where appropriate by housing benefit supplement, so that they will be no worse off while on the scheme.

Mr. Ernie Ross Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if those 20 long-term unemployed claimants who were invited to participate in the new Manpower Services Commission's funded job training programme during interviews held in Dundee who work on fuel direct schemes will still be assisted.

Mr. Major As participants in the job training scheme will receive a training allowance instead of supplementary benefit, payments under the fuel direct schemes will no longer be possible. The training allowance will include any fuel costs previously deducted from supplementary benefit and the trainees will assume full responsibility for paying their own fuel bills, as would be the case if supplementary benefit had stopped for any other reason.