§ 27. Jeff Ennis
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what help he plans to give to long-term unemployed people in deprived areas. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
Our welfare to work initiatives are helping people into work in all parts of the country. The new deals have already helped well over 600,000 people into jobs.
We introduced Employment Zones specifically to help long-term unemployed people in deprived areas get and keep work. The 15 Employment Zones have already helped over 17,200 people move into work. We are in the process of extending the existing zones' contracts until March 2004, and are currently fully evaluating zone performance before deciding how to take the initiative further. The Doncaster Employment Zone, which is 20W operating in part of the Barnsley, East and Mexborough constituency, has already helped over 590 people into work.
Action Teams for Jobs are also helping to tackle joblessness in the most employment deprived areas in the country. In their first year of operation they had helped nearly 16,500 people into work. Up to October 2001, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield were covered by a single South Yorkshire Action Team, which helped 585 people move into work. In October 2001, following the extension of the Action Teams initiative, the South Yorkshire Team was split into two, with one Team covering Barnsley and Rotherham. Between October 2001 and January 2002, the Barnsley and Rotherham Action Team helped 63 people into jobs.
31. Shona Mclsaac
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to help people back into work in areas of acute social deprivation. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
Our welfare to work initiatives are helping people into work in all parts of the country. However, we recognise that there are a small number of areas with acute labour market disadvantages.
In October 2000, we launched Action Teams for Jobs to help jobless people in the most employment deprived areas in the country into work. Action Teams give help tailored to the needs of the individual clients, developing innovative ways to help people overcome the barriers they face when looking for work. By the end of their first year of operation, Action Teams had helped nearly 16,500 people into jobs. In January we increased the number of Action Teams from 53 to 63, and are investing £122 million to fund the teams up to March 2004.
In spring 2000, we introduced 15 Employment Zones in areas of persistently high long-term unemployment. The zones have already helped over 17,200 people move into work. We are in the process of extending the existing contracts until March 2004. We are currently fully evaluating the performance of the zones before deciding how to take the initiative further.