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New Deal: an Evaluation

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 Europe.

'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 market.'

She highlighted the strength of the US job market in giving opportunities for all and compared that with Europe: rates shows:

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 the USA.

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 job experience:

* 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.'

She concluded:

'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 employment.'

The New Deal website is at http://www.newdeal.gov.uk


 




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