HC Deb 20 June 2000 vol 352 c171W
Dr. Iddon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to increase the flexibility of the New Deal Gateway in order to cope with those clients with severe social problems. [123883]

Ms Jowell

There already exists a high degree of flexibility in the Gateway for those with severe social problems, not least through the individually tailored support from the New Deal Personal Adviser. They are able to make use of systematic assessment techniques to identify problems that may be preventing the young person moving into employment. Young people will then, if necessary, be referred by their adviser to a range of provision which can help them with jobsearch, training in basic skills, dealing with issues such as drug or alcohol abuse. This help can be continued beyond the Gateway when the young person is on an option.

Advisers will also be able to defer entry to the new Gateway to Work by a few weeks for those young people who have other issues that need to be resolved and who would not be ready to benefit from the course.