HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc431-2W
Mr. Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many lone parents had been invited to join the New Deal for Lone Parents by the end of July. [95515]

Ms Hodge

The number of lone parents invited to join the New Deal for Lone Parents between the national roll-out of the programme on 26 October 1998 and the end of July was 406,440. The total number of invitations, including the earlier pilot phases of the programme which began on 21 July 1997, is 457,052. Letters inviting participation in the New Deal for Lone Parents programme are sent to lone parents who are in receipt of Income Support and whose youngest child is aged at least 5 years and 3 months. Some 80,130 lone parents have attended an initial interview (including those outside the target group and early starters who did not receive an invite) and some 89 per cent. of these agreed to join the caseload and 26 per cent. of these have found jobs.