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Welfare To Work

Volume 300: debated on Monday 10 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he will take to ensure that black and Asian young people benefit from the Government's welfare to work proposals. [14402]

The Government are committed to ensuring that the New Deal will actively promote equality of opportunity for young people of all ethnic and racial groups. Delivery arrangements for each element of the programme—the Gateway, the four options and follow-through support—will promote racial equality and are based on detailed consideration of how best to deliver provision for young people from ethnic minorities, including consultation with the Commission for Racial Equality and encouragement to Race Equality Councils to be involved in local arrangements. Further details of the arrangements particularly relating to ethnic minority participants are set out in the New Deal Design document which has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what sanctions he proposes to impose on those aged under 25 years who are unemployed who refuse to take up any of the options offered to them under the Welfare to Work scheme. [14683]

[holding answer 7 November 1997]: We intend that young people who are judged by an Adjudication Officer to have refused a New Deal place without good cause will lose their Jobseeker's Allowance for two weeks. If they refuse a further offer at any time in the following twelve months they will lose JSA for four weeks.