Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Top businessman to spearhead creation of new working age agency [April 2000]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 27 April 2000.

Work on the design of the new working age agency is to be led by Richard Lapthorne, the chairman of Nycomed Amersham and former vice chairman of British Aerospace, the Government announced today.

The new agency, which will draw together the Employment Service and the parts of the Benefits Agency which support people of working age, will deliver a single, integrated service to benefit claimants of working age and to employers. It will be established as soon as possible in 2001.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith said:

“I am delighted that Richard will lead this work. His track record of managing complex organisational change in the private sector will be invaluable in getting the agency off to a good start.”

Secretary of State for Education and Employment, David Blunkett said:

“I welcome the appointment of Richard Lapthorne. He will be a key player in the success of the new agency and in ensuring that it has a clear work focus, both helping people to find jobs and in providing a responsive service to employers.”

Secretary of State for Social Security, Alistair Darling said:

“We’re building a brand new agency that will be more than the sum parts of the benefits Agency and the Employment Service. It will draw on the best experience of both the public and private sectors to provide a far more focussed service to its customers.”

Richard Lapthorne will head the project team which will design and develop the agency. Based in the Treasury, the team will include civil servants from the Department of Social Security and the Department for Education and Employment.

Its work will be overseen by a project board which will include Andrew Smith, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment and Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Social Security.

The Chief Executive of the new agency will be recruited by open competition later in this year.