HC Deb 10 February 1998 vol 306 c155W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what skills training older unemployed people entering the New Deal will receive; and if he will make statement. [27647]

Mr. Hain

From June, people aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for two years or more will be able to train towards an approved, employment-related qualification for up to a year while remaining on Jobseeker's Allowance.

In addition, an employer subsidy of £75 a week for up to six months will be made available to people from this group. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor recently announced his intention to pilot measures by which employers facing skills shortages will be able to receive up to 75 per cent. of this subsidy as an up-front payment towards training costs.

Both of these measures are designed to work in tandem with existing ES and TEC provision.

We announced on 5 January our intention to invest more money from the windfall levy to enable us to develop Gateway opportunities for the older unemployed who have been out of work for a year or 18 months. Variants of the New Deal approach will be introduced through pilots, trying proposals out in selected areas.

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