Government says New Deal close to paying for itself

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26th May 2000
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According to research commissioned by the government, the New Deal scheme for young people aged 18-24 is close to paying for itself.

Although the actual figures to support this were not released, Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said that the statistics show the government has reduced the number of young people out of work for six months or more from 170,000 to just over 50,000 in the first two years of the New Deal scheme.

The minister said that "the New Deal has helped 210,000 young unemployed people into work since it began two years ago. That’s equivalent to a rate of over four hundred jobs per day for every working day since it began. It is a matter of when, not whether, the manifesto commitment will be met".

The government statistical service release also showed that in two years of New Deal, 133,400 young people have been helped with education, training or job experience. A Survey of New Deal Leavers whose destination was unknown found that a quarter of them had left for paid employment.

The New Deal scheme is mandatory for those aged 18-24 who have been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for six months. Those joining New Deal first enter a gateway period lasting up to 4 months, during which Employment Service will work with them to improve their employability, and to find unsubsidised jobs for as many as possible. At this stage, they will either move into 6 months of subsidised employment, a course of full-time education/training, a job with the Environment Task Force or a job in the Voluntary Sector. Those remaining without a job after new deal will re-claim job seekers allowance.

Ms Jowell added that the government had "strengthened the help and preparation for young people in New Deal to make them more ready for work, and we are making the training and work experience still more focused on what employers want."

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