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15 Employment Zones now ready and open


More than 48,000 people will be helped in 15 Employment Zones with customised jobsearch assistance to meet their needs - whether it is setting up a bank account, access to the Internet, free phonecards and pagers.

Employment Zones are now open for business using radical, innovative ways to help long-term unemployed people find work.

For the first time ever, private companies and public/private partnerships will be leading the way to help the Government fight the crusade against long-term unemployment in unemployment black spots and will offer personalised support, training advice and aftercare to both employees and employers.

Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said:

"Eleven Employment Zones are now open for business - the business of finding work for long-term jobseekers. This marks the beginning of a new radical approach to finding work for jobseekers who have been unemployed for more than a year.

"This innovative scheme, combines the expertise and facilities of many private, public and voluntary sector groups, to tackle individual zone characteristics - such as transport deficiencies - and the jobseeker’s particular obstacles and needs.

"Personal Job Accounts give jobseekers a real say in jobsearch and can be used to equip jobseekers with information, motivation and financial support to find and keep jobs. It can be used for training, to buy tools, new clothing, transport, child care or achieving professional registration as a pre-requisite for employment. The accounts can also be used to help set up a business.

"By giving people a say as well as the help they need, we will match them up to lasting jobs. In doing so, we give people who have been out of work the dignity of a job and the chance once again to support themselves and their families."

This week, eleven of the 15 Employment Zones have begun receiving referrals from local Jobcentres. The remaining four zones will begin in May 2000.


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