Headlines: November 16th, 1999

Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett has changed the rules on New Deal eligibility to avoid there being a shortage of cheap labour over the Millennium holiday.He’s agreed that young unemployed people will be able to take short term Millennium jobs, without losing the chance of help and support under the New Deal.

The easing of the regulations will also be open to older workers in the pilot New Deal 25 plus and New Deal 50 plus areas.

It will apply only to those starting temporary work in November or December and is a one-off measure in response to the large number of temporary jobs expected to be created.

Mr Blunkett says the measure will allow the unemployed to gain real work experience and dampen pressure on wage levels.

The announcement means that a young person who takes a temporary job (up to three months) over the New Year period will still remain eligible to enter New Deal six months after they first signed on.