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New Deal creates jobs in Britain

2 January 2001 - Kerry Marks a 24-year-old from Brighton, unemployed on and off since leaving school, now runs her own business, Squeaky Clean with 3 employees because of New Deal. She says:

"I can't believe what has happened in the last couple of years. I've changed so much. Before I had nothing to my name and had a problem sticking any job out. I couldn't handle it when they started to order me around. In the New Year I'll need to take on another member of staff. I don't think that I have ever been as happy as I am now."

Similarly, Sam Robinson from Huddersfield joined the New Deal self employment programme after 6 months of unemployment. He was given help writing his business plan and also conducting basic research before launching a specialist web site ( ) selling sports balls, rackets and accessories. The site sells all over the world:

"I have shipped products to Portugal, Bermuda, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan," says Sam. Sam feels that starting your own business can be a lonely business. Support from New Deal helped him stay motivated and he continues to meet the programme advisers regularly "The ongoing support has proved invaluable," he says.

According to Employment Minister Tessa Jowell the New Deal scheme is helping to create new jobs in addition to helping unemployed people find work:

"New Deal is an individually tailored programme that aims to meet the hopes and aspirations of young people. The programme has helped over 2,600 people kick-start business, with almost 600 now independent self-employed entrepreneurs.

"A key element of this programme is the level of support New Deal clients receive before they go it alone. They are put in touch with a business mentor, they receive a 400 grant and training towards a relevant qualification and using their training provider to co-manage their accounts."

The scheme works through three stages (first two in the 'gateway'):

* Stage 1 - a one day awareness raising session
* Stage 2 - a four day course/counselling which leads to production of a business plan
* Stage 3 (Test Trading) taking place as part of the Employment Option.

On Stage 3 participants get a training allowance and 'passported' benefits; a 400 grant; help from a business mentor; training towards an approved qualification; and co-management of their own trading account with the training provider acting as joint signer of cheques

New Deal also meets the needs of more-established employers. More than 81,500 businesses have signed up to New Deal and all but 500 of these are small or medium sized enterprises.

Steve Hickling is one such employer. He set up World of Koi 15 years ago. His company imports ornamental fish from Japan, selling them on to British customers, as well as constructing and maintaining specialist ponds for his customers' fish.

ccording to Steve: "My experience of schemes such as YTS and Work Experience left me disillusioned. I felt that there was a lack of support and back-up. It's time consuming and costly to train a young person into a fully functioning member of staff, especially when you're a small company like ours."

After a poor response for his advert for a trainee landscaper Steve tried his local Jobcentre and selected Anthony Bearman from a number of applicants. World of Koi received 60 a week towards training Anthony. Steve went on to employ 3 more people through the programme.


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