1. In October 1997 the Government published details
of the first initiative under its Welfare to Work programme. New
Deal for 18-24 Year Olds represented a fundamental shift in
the way in which Government would deliver labour market policies
to young unemployed people. New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is
a long-term strategy to reduce youth unemployment and raise the
quality of the workforce. It is a central feature of the Government's
welfare to work strategy. The NDYP was launched in 12 pathfinder
areas in January 1998 and nationally in April 1998.
2. New Deal has been developed since its launch in
1997 and continuous monitoring of its impact and effectiveness
has been a key part of the Employment Sub-committee's work during
the current Parliament. We reported on The New Deal in
1997, and New Deal Pathfinders in 1998.
Our Report on Pathways into Work for Lone Parents examined
the proposals for New Deal for Lone Parents.
Our Report on Opportunities for Disabled People examined
the role of New Deal for Disabled People and, more recently, our
Report on New Deal for Young People: Two Years On examined
the operation of NDYP over its first 24 months.
We were particularly keen to review progress now, as data covering
first full two years of NDYP operation become available and as
the Government develops its thinking for the next stages of New
Deal. We expect that unemployment in general and New Deal in particular
will be important issues for both politicians and the public in
the forthcoming general election. Our intention is that this Report
should contribute by helping to set the agenda for debate and
to ensure that these and other key issues in labour market policies
are considered in context in an informed manner.
Conduct of the inquiry
3. Since the Employment Sub-committee announced
its inquiry in July 2000, it has taken oral evidence on four occasions
from five sets of witnesses representing a range of organisations
and individuals involved with the delivery and evaluation of New
Deal including Tessa Jowell MP, the Minister for Employment, Welfare
to Work and Equal Opportunities. It also received 44 memoranda.
We are grateful to all those who contributed to the work of the
Sub-committee. We also wish to record our gratitude to our specialist
advisers for this inquiry, Dr Dan Finn, Reader in Social Policy
at the University of Portsmouth, and Mr Dave Simmonds, Director
of the Centre for Social Inclusion.
1 Second Report from the Education and Employment Committee,
Session 1997-98, The New Deal, HC 263 (Hereafter "The
New Deal"); Eighth Report from the Education and Employment
Committee, Session 1997-98, The New Deal Pathfinders, HC
1059 (Hereafter "The New Deal Pathfinders"). Back
Report from the Education and Employment Committee, Session 1997-98,
Pathways into Work for Lone Parents, HC 646. Back
Report from the Education and Employment Committee, Session 1998-99,
Opportunities for Disabled People, HC 111; Eighth Report
from the Education and Employment Committee, 1999-2000, The
New Deal for Young People: Two Years On HC 501 (Hereafter
"New Deal for Young People: Two Years On"). Back