HC Deb 18 March 1998 vol 308 cc624-5W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will provide a breakdown of patterns of expenditure in 1998–99 on(a) young and (b) long-term unemployed participants in the New Deal by travel to work area or other suitable locality. [29689]

Mr. Andrew Smith

I have placed in the Library a list of the client volume planning assumptions for each New Deal unit of delivery which the Employment Service is using to plan provision for young unemployed people aged 18–24. However, actual take-up of each element of the New Deal for 18–24 year olds will be determined by the needs of individual clients, and it is not therefore possible to predict what the precise pattern of expenditure will be. Similarly, actual take-up of particular elements of provision will determine expenditure within the New Deal for long-term unemployed people aged 25 or over.

Mr. McCabe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much of the windfall tax proceeds devoted to the New Deal will be used(a) to employ staff in the Employment Service, (b) to purchase computers or furniture for the Employment Service, (c) for advertising; (d) for employment of staff or purchase of furniture or equipment by TECs, (e) for pay in respect of New Deal participants and (f) for employment subsidies. [32789]

Mr. Andrew Smith

The windfall tax proceeds devoted to the New Deal programmes for unemployed people aged 18–24 and for long-term unemployed people aged 25 or over will provide help in making the move from benefit into work for the whole of this Parliament. Each programme will offer help to everyone who becomes eligible. Everyone who joins the New Deal for 18–24 year olds will receive help tailored to individual circumstances. Accordingly, total expenditure in each year will be determined by the number of people who actually join the programme and the precise pattern of help they require, and cannot be predicted in advance.

A large part of the New Deal for 18–24 year olds will be delivered through partnership arrangements rather than by Employment Service (ES) staff. These arrangements are currently being finalised before the programme's national launch in April, and it is therefore not yet possible to determine the overall impact on ES staffing.

Changes to the ES infrastructure in terms of accommodation, furniture and IT equipment will also depend on local delivery arrangements and their impact in each Jobcentre. Expenditure on each of these items will be known only when these plans are finalised and linked to the numbers of young people actually joining the programme.

The New Deal programmes have a total marketing budget for the life of this Parliament of up to £24 million.

As far as advertising is concerned the current programme of marketing to employers is aimed at raising interest to provide unsubsidised vacancies in the Gateway and subsidised places for the Employment Option. There will also need to be further advertising to launch the New Deal for those above 25 years of age as well as continuing to maintain employer involvement after the initial phase of interest. The amount of future advertising—over the life of the Parliament—will need to be assessed once we have established how much additional marketing is required to encourage further employer participation or to communicate other key New Deal messages. The TECs in many of the Delivery Units are working alongside the ES as key strategic partners. Where they take responsibility for managing some elements of the programme (such as one or more of the options) then they may need to employ staff and may even require some infrastructure investment. However, while the delivery arrangements are still being negotiated it is not possible to anticipate this impact.

The fact that the New Deal programme is demand led and largely determined by client choices means that there is no fixed split between expenditure on employment subsidies and New Deal participants. This flexibility which New Deal clients will have is a very important feature of the programme and it means that expenditure on particular elements is difficult to forecast at the outset.