Oral Answers to Questions

Peter Gibson Excerpts
Monday 5th February 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mary Robinson Portrait Mary Robinson (Cheadle) (Con)
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18. What steps his Department is taking to expand the support available through jobcentres in Cheadle constituency.

Peter Gibson Portrait Peter Gibson (Darlington) (Con)
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24. What steps he is taking to help fill job vacancies in Darlington constituency.

Jo Churchill Portrait The Minister for Employment (Jo Churchill)
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Across the country our fantastic work coaches are supporting people to secure and progress in work. In Kendal, Cheadle and Darlington, jobcentres are working with local and national employers to match jobseekers with vacancies through job fairs, sector-based work academy programmes and apprenticeships. As it is National Apprenticeship Week, this is a great time for employers to promote the opportunities available, and I urge all colleagues who have not yet done so to visit their jobcentre if it has an apprenticeship fair on. The hon. Gentleman’s was last week, wasn’t it?

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Jo Churchill Portrait Jo Churchill
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I know that senior civil servants are engaged in piloting an initiative that will help to speed this up, because we need to place those candidates more quickly and ensure that we get them into work swiftly. I would love to visit Stockport and add its jobcentre to the growing list that I have visited.

Peter Gibson Portrait Peter Gibson
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I put on record my thanks to my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Guy Opperman) for his work to establish the Jobcentre Plus Facebook pages, of which Darlington’s was the first. Will my hon. Friend the Minister outline how successful that page has been and what further plans she has to develop accessible social media job advertising?

Jo Churchill Portrait Jo Churchill
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We know that social media helps, and that 40 to 50-year-olds in particular enjoy engaging with a digital platform when they are looking for work. We have had instances in the past of people thanking us when they have been given interviews online. It is important that posts are accessible and we are working to ensure that this is the case. I would point customers of any age to the JobHelp website, which has a host of useful information. I am keen to see if we can roll out such progress further.