HL Deb 24 April 2001 vol 625 cc40-1WA
Lord Mason of Barnsley

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many young people, under the New Deal, have taken up one of the options of entering full-time education and training, the voluntary sector and the environment taskforce; and how many have become self employed. [HL1611]

Baroness Blackstone

Latest figures show that from January 1998 to the end of January 2001, 91,700 young people had started the full-time education and training option of New Deal; 44,000 young people started the voluntary sector option and 41,700 started the environment taskforce option. As the Employment Service does not routinely record the type of employment of New Deal leavers, it is not possible to say what proportion has become self-employed. However, over the same period as above, 42,100 people started subsidised employment, of which 3,180 started test trading through the subsidised self-employment route.

The Government recognise the importance of self-employment in encouraging innovation from young entrepreneurs and, as such, support for those wishing to become self-employed is an important part of the wide range of provision available to New Deal participants. In addition to those who have started test trading, many others have already benefited from information, advice, and training in how to set up and run a business and produce a business plan. The New Deal for Young People options provide good tailored training for real jobs, as well as developing general employability—half the people gaining jobs after an option said they received training in those jobs. Nine out of 10 were satisfied with their training.

In the Green Paper Towards full employment in a modern society, we said that we will introduce more individually tailored provision in the option period of the New Deal. This will include development of modular, intensive courses and provision with greater relevance to local labour markets.

Nationally, 279,020 young people have been recorded as gaining jobs. In addition, we know that many people will have left New Deal for employment without telling the Employment Service; these people are not included in the figures. However, extensive surveys show that at least 56 per cent of those recorded as an unknown destination will have entered employment, indicating that a further 82,208 young people gained jobs from New Deal.