HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc30-1W
16. Mr. Kevan Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the effect the new deal has had on long-term unemployment in the North-East. [55503]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

Since 1997 in the North-East, long-term unemployment has been cut by over 70 per cent.

The new deals have played an important part in this success. In the North-East, the new deal for Young People and new deal 25 plus have, between them, helped over 34,000 long-term unemployed people off benefits and into work.

In addition, Action Teams for Jobs and Employment Zones have, between them, helped over 6,000 people from the most deprived areas in the North-East into work.

35. Mark Tami

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received from employers regarding the New Deal. [55523]

Mr. Nicholas Brown

Employers have a central role to play in achieving our goal of creating and sustaining employment opportunities for all. DWP Ministers meet with a wide range of employers and their representative organisations and have a planned programme of meetings for the year ahead.

The National Employment Panel (formerly known as the New Deal Task Force) was formed in 1997 to ensure that employers, and other key customers, have a strong and permanent voice within the Department. The panel is an employer-led body that provides independent advice on the design, delivery and performance of the New Deals and our other welfare to work initiatives, reporting directly to Ministers. The National Employment Panel Employer Coalitions ensure that employers can contribute to services at the regional and local level.

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