Letter: Children at risk

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Sir: We are taking urgent action to ensure that everyone working in the Employment Service understands their responsibilities where people are referred to jobs which involve working with children following the cases raised by Mr Harry Fletcher of the National Association of Probation Officers ("New Deal loophole lets in criminals", 8 December).

I have begun an urgent investigation into the specific cases, which I take very seriously indeed.

But we are also insisting that all those working in Jobcentres are clear that where they know they are dealing with individuals with a history of sex offending they should not be offered any such employment.

Already, any employer who is recruiting someone to work with children is asked to sign a declaration that they will carry out all the necessary checks with the authorities in respect of any previous convictions before they take the person on.

I have reminded Jobcentre staff of the need to ensure that employers do understand the requirement to undertake such checks.

And we are working with the Home Office to strengthen the checks on unsuitable people working with children. The Home Office will be making an announcement on this matter early in the New Year.

We attach the highest importance to the effective protection of children, and the Employment Service will do all in our power to underpin this commitment.


Employment Service

London SW1