Headlines: November 17th, 1998

The Government has given details on how it intends to monitor the performance of the New Deal.One and a half million pounds has been allocated for an Innovation Fund, which will allow the testing of new ways of delivering elements of the New Deal. The New Deal Task Force has been asked to work up the criteria for bids from the fund, which will operate from April 1999.

Alongside the Innovation Fund, detailed data on New Deal performance is to be shared with the partners who are involved with setting up projects.

Employment Minister Andrew Smith said, that although the Government’s project to get more people, especially young people, into work had already helped thousands, more could be done.

He said: “None of us involved in New Deal can afford to rest on our laurels. That is why we will be working closely with all our partners to take forward a continuous improvement strategy. We will be discussing with them how we can further expand the jobs and opportunities available and ensure they meet the needs of New Deal participants.”

Under the Continuous Improvement Strategy, data showing what New Deal is achieving in each area will be shared with the partners involved. The data will include success in moving people into jobs and enabling them to retain them, but it will also inform other tests of New Deal’s success, such as whether young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are benefiting on the same basis as others.