Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Economic Development Service, Fife Council

1.  Any measures to encourage employers to recruit unemployed people is positive as although other groups may be displaced from these jobs it gives employers a larger pool of trained experienced labour to recruit from while reducing the number of people disadvantaged in the labour market and facing social exclusion.

  2.  The New Deal Jobs Option is a very positive measure in this respect especially since in-depth support and help is available pre-placement through the Gateway provision which is invaluable in increasing core skills and general confidence and thereby helping increase the individuals chances of gaining employment coupled with the carrot to the employer of a subsidy.

  3.  At present experience under one of the other New Deal Options also helps prepare clients to progress to employment. However at present regulations do not allow clients to progress to the jobs option after eight weeks in any other option which inhibits progression to employment. A change in this regulation would therefore be extremely positive.

  4.  The number of clients who do gain employment under the New Deal is significant but for a fairly high percentage this employment is not sustained. This is unacceptable and support mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that this drop out rate is reduced. This support could be provided by the Employment Service (or to a sub-contracted New Deal partner) to every employer and employee involved in the New Deal scheme to overcome any difficulties faced by both in the first stages of employment. This support mechanism could also be used very effectively to support career progression for people taking entry level jobs after a period of unemployment.

Economic Development Service

Fife Council

March 2000

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