§ Mr. Timms
The New Deal for Disabled People involves two strands of pilots. The Innovative Scheme strand aims to test ways to help people with a disability or long-term illness, and carers, to move into or remain in work. Through different schemes which deal with a range of disabilities and medical conditions we will learn what works effectively and what is less effective. The ten schemes being funded under the first bidding exercise aim to help around 875 people to move into or remain in work. Further contracts will be announced next year.
We will also be piloting a Personal Adviser Service in 12 areas. The first six, run by the Employment Service, began in September. The remainder are being put out to open tender and we expect they will start operating early next year. As participation in this New Deal is voluntary, the Government do not have an estimate for the numbers 400W of people who will be assisted through the Personal Adviser Service. However, in the pilot areas, the Personal Adviser Service will be available to nearly a quarter of a million people on incapacity benefits. There will be independent evaluation of the pilots and we expect the results to be available by the end of 1999.