Headlines: June 24th, 1998

More light has been thrown on the innovative methods public agencies are to employ to breathe fresh life into schemes which get long term unemployed people into work.

Liverpool & Sefton’s Employment Zone, in the first such deal of its kind, sees the Ford Motor Company taking on and training unemployed people for up to six months at the full rate for the job, while they also work for a vocational qualification and a job reference.

The partnership scheme also involves the Littlewoods Group and Alliance & Leicester. Other elements of the scheme involve support to ex-offenders to start their own businesses, a mentor pool to provide support for unemployed people across the zone, and training and education to improve employability.

A further project – Neighbourhood Match – involves doing work which benefits the wider community.

Participation in the zones initiative is voluntary and open to unemployed men and women who have been claiming benefits for 12 months or more plus people with disabilities, returners to the labour market, lone parents, ex-offenders, and victims of large-scale redundancies.