§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
Since 1997 youth unemployment has fallen by more than 40 per cent. to around its lowest level since the mid-1970s, and long-term youth unemployment has been virtually eradicated.
The New Deal for Young People has played an important part in this success. Up to March 2002 the programme had helped over 360,000 young people off benefit and into work. Independent research has found that, without the New Deal, long-term youth unemployment would have been about twice as high.
In my hon. Friend's constituency, nearly 400 young people have moved into jobs through the New Deal.