§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many young people claimed the bridging allowance during 1995–96; what was the average period during which payments were made; and how many claims were refused, by reason for refusal. 
§ Mr. Forth
Responsibility for the subject of the question 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. Alan Howarth, dated 17 February 1997:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions about the number of young people claiming bridging allowance during 1995–96.The Employment Service does not hold figures on the number of claims for Youth Training Bridging Allowance (YTBA) by young people; the average period during which payment is made; how many claims are refused or the reason for refusal.402WThe Employment Service does, however, record the Total number of young people in receipt of YTBA. In the period April 1995 to March 1996 the Total was 41,815.I am sorry I cannot be more helpful.