§ 2. Mr. Ted Rowlands (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)
When he plans to meet the head of the Employment Service in Wales to discuss progress with the new deal. 
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. David Hanson)
I have had regular contact with the director of employment services to discuss progress on the new deal and other welfare-to-work issues in Wales, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State plans to meet the director in the near future.
§ Mr. Rowlands
My hon. Friend will be aware of how the new deal has revitalised employment services in Wales. 287 Will he seriously consider transferring the adult training programmes that are currently with the TECs to the employment services, or at least ensure that the forthcoming Bill on reorganising training will allow that possibility?
§ Mr. Hanson
The Bill has not yet been published, but when it is, those points will be taken on board and considered seriously. As it happens, I am meeting the director of employment services in Wales tomorrow, and we will certainly discuss those issues. I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunity to consider them as the Bill progresses through the House.
§ Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)
Given that there is no evidence whatever that people in Wales get jobs through the new deal for young people that they would not otherwise have secured, and plenty of evidence that people who go through the new deal do not secure jobs at the end of their course, what assessment has the Minister made of the cost to public funds of 1,710 young people in Wales going through the new deal only to end up going through the revolving door of benefit dependency?
§ Mr. Hanson
Some 22,030 young people aged between 18 and 24 have entered the new deal in Wales since its inception, and some 10,109 have secured jobs. That is 10,109 people who have secured jobs that the hon. Gentleman would not have had them secure. He would have had them face further unemployment. The real issue is the cost of unemployment, and how much it cost in the Conservative years. This Government are committed to ensuring that people are in productive, long-term employment, and the new deal is a great contributor to that aim.
§ Mrs. Betty Williams (Conwy)
May I ask my hon. Friend the Minister about the plight of disabled people in Wales? How many people with disabilities have been able to take advantage of the new deal and how many have found jobs that are unsubsidised?
§ Mr. Hanson
I thank my hon. Friend for that question. Some 3,416 disabled people have joined the new deal since its inception, and the new deal for disabled people in the eastern valleys pilot area has seen some 221 people secure full-time employment. The new deal is about giving people the opportunity to learn new skills, to have an opportunity to contribute to society and to gain full-time employment. The scheme works for disabled people, young people and older people in the pilot in north-east Wales, and in the extensions announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer—but the Conservative party would scrap it.