§ 27. Mr. Hanson
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the number of companies participating in the new deal. 
§ Mr. Hain
I am very encouraged by the enthusiastic response from employers.
In the South-West Wales Pathfinder area, where the programme has been in place since January, nearly 400 employers have pledged some 1,600 jobs. In the rest of Wales, we have received pledges from a further 400 employers, bringing the total number of opportunities to more than 2,000.
We will continue to ensure that the widest range of top quality placements are made available under the New Deal.