To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what criteria were used for choosing West Lancashire as an area where the lead role in delivery of the New Deal would be offered to the private sector. 
We have invited the private sector to lead the organisation and delivery of New Deal in a total of ten locations. The competition to identify private sector lead organisations in the two pathfinder areas of Hackney and City and South Humber is complete. The additional eight areas were selected on the basis of a judgment as to where a private sector led partnership would have most to contribute.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) if he will list for each employment district in (a) Wales and (b) England in which he intends to contract out the management of the welfare to work programme those contracts which will be the subject of public tender or invitation to tender; and which companies have been invited to tender; (2) if he will list those employment districts in
(a) Wales and (b) England in which he proposes to contract out the management of the welfare to work programmes; and what is the estimated value of each contract. 
[holding answer 20 November 1997]: The essence of New Deal delivery is partnership between a wide range of public and private sector organisations to provide opportunities to meet the needs of the local client group. Effective local partnerships have an invaluable contribution to make, whatever the lead responsibilities for delivery. Detailed delivery plans for each New Deal unit of delivery will be available in the public domain once approved. Plans for 12 pathfinder districts are in the process of being made available now, and those for the bulk of remaining districts will be available during December.We have specifically invited the private sector to lead the organisation and delivery of New Deal in a total of 10 locations. The competition in the first two pathfinder areas (Hackney and City and South Humber) is now complete. Advertisements seeking expressions of interest have been published for the other eight, with a view to announcing the remaining lead organisations to work with the Employment Service by the end of February 1998. In Wales, the private sector will lead in Bridgend and Glamorgan Valleys. In England, the locations are West Lancashire, Leicestershire, Solihull, Colchester, Tyneside North and Exeter and East Devon.We cannot say at this stage which specific organisations will compete for contracts or their potential value because these depend on responses to the various competitions, the delivery arrangements proposed and the number of young people who will participate within the New Deal.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) for what reasons bidding for the contract to lead the organisation and delivery of New Deal to 18 to 24 year olds in Scotland, England and Wales is restricted to private sector organisations; (2) if the bidding process will allow for the management of New Deal in Scotland to be carried out separately, and by a different organisation, from that in England and Wales. 
New Deal will be organised through a wide variety of arrangements, designed to reflect the diversity of local circumstances and the expertise of those who can help in its delivery. This means different options for the management of New Deal are welcome.The private sector has offered an impressive range of innovative proposals for helping young people back to work. The Government are keen to harness this creativity to provide quality opportunities through which young people can improve their employability. We have therefore invited bids from the private sector, under contract to the Employment Service (ES), to lead the delivery of New Deal in a total of 10 locations where it is judged that a private sector led partnership would have most to contribute. I would expect the private sector organisations selected to work closely with local public and private sector bodies to make a success of the New Deal.The bidding process allows for the management arrangements to be separated, and for separate organisations to be involved, in each of the private sector lead locations, including in Scotland. It does not, however, require it as the bids for each area will be assessed on their merits.In other areas, private sector or public sector consortia may also emerge as a result of discussions amongst prospective partners at a local level. In these cases, responsibility for the overall management of New Deal in that locality may rest with any member/members of the consortium under contract to the ES. A third option is that the ES directly manages New Deal Delivery.In all cases, the ES remains accountable for the delivery of New Deal.