§ Mr. McNulty
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many initial letters inviting lone parents to participate in the New Deal for Lone Parents have been issued; how many initial interviews have been booked; how many initial interviews have been carried out; how many lone parents have agreed to participate; and how many jobs have been obtained by lone parents participating in the New Deal for Lone Parents. 
§ Mr. Darling
The information is as follows.The National New Deal for Lone Parents started on 26 October 1998.Latest information shows that from 21 July 1997 to 27 November 1998:
- The number of letters issued1 is 64,765
- The number of initial interviews booked is 38,420
- The number of initial interviews carried out is 28,762
- The number of agreements to participate is 24,372.A total of 5,6892 jobs have been obtained by lone parents participating in the New Deal for Lone Parents.
The vast majority of lone parents who attend an initial interview decide to take part in the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP). This shows that we are offering a service that lone parents want.240W
Future NDLP results will be placed in the Library each month.
1 The management information for phases 1, 2 and 3 of NDLP differs slightly. The figure for "letters issued" does—for phase 1 only—also include contacts made by lone parents who had not received a letter from NDLP. In phase 1, this figure was entitled "contacts made".
2(i) Since 26 October 1998, the relevant period for the jobs obtained figure has differed slightly from that for the rest of the NDLP data. Therefore, while the "jobs obtained" figure relates to the period 21 July 1997 to 4 December 1998; all the other figures relate to the period 21 July 1997 to 27 November 1998.
(ii) The definition of "jobs obtained" includes only Employment Service (ES) job placings. This means that this figure does not include jobs obtained by lone parents who participate in NDLP but who find the job through a non-ES source. Since 26 October 1998 for example, another 146 lone parents participating in the NDLP have found jobs through a non-ES source with the help of their adviser. This figure is therefore likely to be an undercount of the total number of jobs obtained by lone parents participating in the NDLP.
(iii) From 21 July 1997 to 23 October 1998, the "jobs obtained" figure was defined as the first job obtained while participating in NDLP. However, since 26 October 1998 the "jobs obtained" figure has counted all ES placings, including those where a lone parent has obtained two jobs.