Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Re-establishment Centres on 6th May 1986.
Sir David Price Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what progress he is making with the proposed transfer of re-establishment centres to the Manpower Services Commission and to other suitable agencies; and if he will make a statement;
(2) when he expects to be able to reply to the Second Report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1985-86, on resettlement units and re-establishment centres;
(3) when he expects to be able to announce the future of his Department’s resettlement unit in Southampton; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Major There is no proposition to transfer re-establishment centres to the Manpower Services Commission. We are considering the extent to which the range of help available to the long-term unemployed duplicates the facilities available to re-establishment centre users. We shall then make a final decision about the future of the re-establishment centres. The community programme, for example, is to be increased to 255,000 places by November 1986. By March 1987 this improved provision should make it possible to assist all the long-term unemployed as they reach 12 months unemployment. Each person referred to a Manpower Services Commission employment adviser will have an initial interview at which the availability of jobs and Me appropriateness of training will be considered. Links between employment advisers and DHSS unemployment review officers will be strengthened to match people with the most suitable Manpower Services Commission programme.
I hope to be able to reply shortly to the second report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1985-86. In so far as the resettlement unit in Southampton is concerned, no decisions have yet been made. Regionally-based teams have been asked to report on alternative provision for all DHSS resettlement units and their findings will be discussed and the issues drawn together at a national resettlement conference on 3 June. The views of the conference on the criteria against which individual proposals should be judged will be available to Ministers when they consider the regional reports.