Several MPs raised questions about the transition to the new all-age service, specifically about how it can be staffed when so many advisers face redundancy as a result of spending cuts in local authorities. John Hayes, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, was there to respond. I would like to quote from an exchange towards the end of the debate:
Andrew Miller: Given that the Connexions company locally has effectively been told to wind itself up, it will, by necessity, have to put people on notice of possible dismissal
Mr Hayes: Local authorities will retain a duty to provide the service and the new all-age service will begin to kick in from this autumn, so any hiatus of the kind that the hon. Gentleman suggests is present should not be significant. I hope that local authorities would put in place arrangements to ensure that those people involved could move from one service to the other reasonably seamlessly. If he takes that message to his local authority with my endorsement, it may yield more fruit.
Am I alone in thinking that the Minister is in danger of closing the stable door after the horse has been driven out to pasture? The message to local authorities certainly doesn’t, from what I hear around the country, seem to have got through!