§ Sir Irvine Patnick
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what negotiations have taken place between her Department and Sheffield TEC to make provision for employment for the over-45 year age group; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) what initiatives her Department is undertaking to make provision for the employment for the over-45 age group in the Sheffield travel-to-work area; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Paice
The Department continues to provide a wide range of employment and training measures in the Sheffield area to help unemployed people find a job and employed people to enhance their skill and knowledge levels. It also has a campaign for older workers targeted at employers who impose age restrictions to persuade them of the need to recruit, retain and retrain individuals on the basis of ability and not age.
In addition, the Department has contracted with Sheffield TEC to provide during this financial year training, education and enterprise courses amounting to 4,350 adult places; many of which will be filled by those in the over-45 group.
It is these measures and programmes as part of the Government's policy of maintaining the economic conditions of low inflation and a fully competitive and flexible labour market which continues to maintain existing jobs and creates new employment opportunities for all large groups including the over-45s.
Over the last two years, in the Sheffield travel-to-work area, unemployment in the 45-and-over age group has fallen by almost 17 per cent., and long-term unemployment in the same group by almost 11 per cent.712W
(c) became unemployed at the end of their training in each year since the scheme began.