Mr. William O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the level of unemployment in the travel-to-work areas where collieries have closed; and what initiatives the Government are currently taking to provide jobs in those areas.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Between January and June 1993, claimant unemployment fell in all those travel-to-work areas containing collieries where British Coal has ceased operations since October 1992.
The Government have made available £75 million to training and enterprise councils and the Employment Service to provide a range of training, job search and other measures to help the unemployed people affected. This £75 million forms part of a larger £200 million package of assistance involving the Employment Department, the Department of Trade and Industry, British Coal Enterprise, English Estates and other Government agencies.