§ 18. Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she next expects to meet representatives of the Scottish Executive to discuss rural employment.
§ Mr. Foulkes
My right hon. Friend and 1 have regular meetings with the Scottish Executive to discuss a wide range of issues including employment. Employment in Scotland remains high with 2,384 million people in work. There are, however, still some areas of Scotland which suffer from persistently high levels of unemployment. We are addressing this inequality through measures like the174W new deal which has helped over 60,000 people from all areas of Scotland back to work; and the action teams for jobs initiative which is tackling high levels of localised unemployment in the Highlands and Islands, East Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and Glasgow.