26 October 2000 - Employment Minister Tessa Jowell argues that Britain's job
market has the best employment features of its European and US equivalents. She said
that the UK employment rate of 74.7% is the second highest
in Europe (compared with the average of 62%). If these rates were replicated across the European Union we would have:
* Over 13 million more women in employment.
* Nearly 3 million more older men in work.
* 7.5 million more young people with jobs.
At a seminar in Oxford's Nuffield College Ms Jowell said:
'Britain is combining the best of the US and European models of
employment policy. It is an approach that's working for Britain and
it is one that we can spread in working with our partners across
'We have learned much from Europe about minimum standards and
protection for vulnerable workers and have drawn valuable lessons
from the USA in terms of flexibility and deregulation.
'We have combined these two approaches to create a third way on
employment which offers a genuinely new route forward for the labour
She highlighted the strength of the US job market in giving opportunities for all
and compared that with Europe:
Only a half of women in the EU are in employment - this compares
with two-thirds in the USA;
Fewer than half of 55-64 year-old are employed in the EU in comparison
with two-thirds in the USA;
Just 40% of young people in the EU are employed. Compare this with 60% in
Government Statistical Service figures on the New Deal for Young People
were released today showing that nearly 245,000 young people had been helped into employment
and 195,000 young people were assisted with education, training or
* 81,200 in Full Time Education and Training
* 38,200 with the Employment Option
* 36,400 on the Environment Task Force
* 38,500 on the Voluntary Sector Option.
According to Tessa Jowell:
'These latest figures show that the New Deal is working. It is
offering tailored support to increase opportunity and self-reliance.
We have put an end to the era of the quick-fix scheme and are
progressively helping people to improve their employability through
help with work experience, training and childcare .
'The success this approach means that we are now ready to pursue our
modern welfare to work agenda with our European partners. We are
seeing progress but there remains room for further improvement if we
are to see real moves being made towards the target of modern full
employment which is now within our sights in Britain. Greater choice
and flexibility are essential if employment levels across Europe are
to be increased to meet the employment targets the EU set itself at
the Lisbon summit.'
'We want to see a Europe in which economic growth and social justice
go hand in hand. In Britain, New Deal is showing that investment in
individual men and women is also an investment in our national
prosperity. We have learned much from our European partners but it
is now time to take our agenda to them in the drive for full
The New Deal website is at