Work and Pensions Committee Press Notice

Press notice No. 28 of Session 2005-06 24 July 2006

'Select Committee to inquire into how the Government will reach its aim to achieve an employment rate of 80%'

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee today announced an inquiry "to examine the effectiveness of the Government's employment strategy and the action required to achieve the aim of increasing the employment rate to 80%."

The inquiry will examine some of the measures proposed in the recent Welfare Reform Bill and will predominantly focus upon lone parents, people aged 50+ and ethnic minorities. Particular areas of interest are likely to include:

€the barriers to work, such as housing costs and employers' attitudes, experienced by the above groups;

€the effectiveness of DWP's national employment programmes, such as the New Deal and Employment Zones, and the different pilot schemes in operation around the country;

€area-based variations in employment rates in both urban and rural areas and the initiatives aimed at tackling them, including the new Cities Strategy;

€the provision of services by, and the contracting out of functions such as work-focused interviews to, the private and voluntary sectors; and

€job sustainability;

The Committee seeks written contributions on this issue from interested organisations and individuals. Oral evidence sessions will take place from the autumn. The deadline for written evidence is 27 September 2006.

Please note:

Each submission should begin with a short summary in bullet point form. The paragraphs in the text of the submission should be numbered. A guide for written submissions to the Committee may be found on the parliamentary website at:

Submissions should be made by e-mail and in Word format where possible, with little use of colour. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to Please put "Submission to employment inquiry" in the subject box.

Paper copies should be sent to: Louise Whitley, Work and Pensions Select Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA and should, if possible, be accompanied with a disc with the document in word format.

Full postal address and contact details should be included however the memorandum is submitted.

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

Memoranda submitted to the Committee must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised by the Committee.