HC Deb 05 December 1997 vol 302 c388W
Mr. Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence to involve the Army Cadets, Sea Cadets and Air Cadets in the welfare to work New Deal proposals; [17139]

(2) if he will list the youth organisations he has consulted in respect of the Welfare to Work New Deal proposals. [17411]

Mr. Alan Howarth

Responsibility for the subject of these questions has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Bob Russell, dated 5 December 1997: The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the New Deal in respect of discussions with the Ministry of Defence about the Cadet Forces, and your request for a list of youth organisations that have been consulted. There are areas that fall within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. I am pleased to say that the Employment Service has forged close links with the Ministry of Defence and other Government Departments in the run up to the roll out to the New Deal. Contact have been at both national and local level. The Ministry of Defence are keen to be involved in the New Deal and, whilst thus far it has largely been in the context of mainstream forces recruitment, other local initiatives are being developed. The Ministry of Defence see New Deal as a useful stepping stone for young people who want to join the forces, but may not be able to meet pre-entry requirements without further support. Discussions have not specifically covered the Cadet forces but we would be very open to any proposals as to how they could be involved. You also asked for a list of youth organisations consulted on the New Deal proposals. As you will be aware, we have consulted widely at national, regional and local level. While we have not kept centrally a list of all the organisations that have taken part in the consultation process, they have included many with a particular interest in young people. At the national conferences, for example, there were representatives from the Prince's Youth Business Trust, the Prince Youth Volunteers, the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, the National Youth Association and the YMCA. Many other organisations will have taken part in consultations at regional and district level. I hope this is helpful.

Ms Buck

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he will take to ensure that black and Asian young people benefit from the Government's welfare to work proposals. [18718]

Mr. Andrew Smith

The Government is committed to ensuring that the New Deal with actively promote equality of opportunity and outcome for young people of all ethic and racial groups. Delivery arrangements for each element of the programme—the Gateway, the four options and follow through support—will promote racial equality and are based on detailed consideration of how best to deliver provision for young people from ethnic minorities.