HC Deb 11 June 1998 vol 313 c707W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate how many young people aged 18 to 24 years regarded by the Government as socially excluded are not eligible for the New Deal. [43969]

Mr. Andrew Smith

No such estimate is available. However, the Government believe that their Welfare to Work policy, of which the New Deals form part, together with the work of the Social Exclusion Unit, provide extensive help for those at risk of social exclusion. Depending on their circumstances, individuals may have access to help as part of the New Deal for the Young Unemployed, or the New Deals for Lone Parents or People with Disabilities.

Under the New Deal for the Young Unemployed, individuals likely to be particularly disadvantaged in the labour market—such as those with disabilities; returners to the labour market; ex-regulars in HM forces; ex-offenders; lone parents; people whose first language is not English, Welsh or Gaelic; those with reading, writing or numeracy problems; those who have become unemployed due to large-scale redundancies; and those who have recently left local authority care—can get early access if they are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. The Employment Service will also have discretion to enable early access to others where their New Deal adviser believes they are at particular disadvantage in their search for work.

There are also a range of other policies being developed to tackle disadvantage and social exclusion, including the New Deal for Partners and the New Deal for Communities.