HC Deb 23 March 1999 vol 328 c200W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans the Government have to extend the New Deal for the longterm unemployed to those unemployed for less than two years. [77632]

Mr. Andrew Smith

[holding answer 22 March 1999]: Unemployed people aged 25 or more who face particular disadvantages in the labour market can already gain early access to the New Deal, after 12 months of unemployment. We are also running 28 New Deal pilot schemes for this age group, including one in Coventry, which will test the effectiveness of intervening more generally after 12 and 18 months of unemployment. These will be very carefully evaluated and we will be looking closely at what lessons can be drawn for the future.

A number of measures available under the New Deal, such as work based learning for adults, are also available to people unemployed for less than two years.