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New Deal sets new records


On the eve of the Millennium, record-breaking figures show that the New Deal has helped over 169,000 young people off benefits and into work.

Employment Minister Tessa Jowell said: "In October, more than 16,800 young people got a job, the highest monthly number since New Deal started. In addition, in the last year nearly 300 young people have been helped to realise the dream of becoming their own boss.

"Lamp designers, furniture makers, illustrators, window cleaners and dog trainers are just some of the young New Deal entrepreneurs who have started their own business and are now trading successfully and independently. It is a tremendous thrill to hear them describe their success in their own words."

Boxing enthusiast John Aydon was without a job for three years until the New Deal helped him set up his own business as an artist and illustrator. The Durham 24-year-old said:

"It is only through the New Deal that I’m prepared in book-keeping and other business areas to add to my existing graphic design skills. I have had commissions from World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, England international football Michael Owen and other famous sports stars. I am very pleased I took the plunge into business."

After two years of unemployment, Teesside man John Swales is now his own boss, spending much of his life hundreds of feet up factory chimneys. He said: "Thanks to the New Deal, I have achieved the ambition of having my own property repairs business, which takes me all over the UK as well as abroad. My feet have hardly touched the ground."

Tessa Jowell added: "This is good news for the economy and good news for Britain. I wish these young entrepreneurs, and every one on the New Deal, every success in 2000.

"The New Deal is not only helping young people into jobs, it focuses on employability. It gives young people new skills in a rapidly changing labour market, not only helping them to secure a first job, but also ensuring that they remain in employment."

Latest figures from the Government Statistical Service show the total young people finding work since New Deal started is now over 169,000.
The numbers of young people who have received work experience or training from New Deal now stands at 107,800

* 22,900 on the Environment Task Force;
* 24,000 on the Voluntary Sector Option; and
* 60,800 in Full Time Education and Training.


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