§ Mr. Golding
As my right hon. Friend announced in the House on 29th June, the Manpower Services Commission has been asked to operate a new opportunities programme for unemployed young people on the lines of its proposals based on its Working Party's report on "Young People and Work". This programme will provide a range of work experience and work preparation courses. It will be in full operation by September 1978 when, with other programmes for young people, it will provide up to 130,000 places which should benefit over 230,000 young people a year. Those participating will be paid an allowance of £18 a week and the full programme will cost about £160 million a year.
§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any further plans to reduce unemployment; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Golding
On 29th June my right hon. Friend announced in this House the further measures which the Government have decided to take to reduce unemployment. These include a new youth opportunities programme which will give up to 230,000 unemployed youngsters each year a chance of work experience or training. This is about double the provision for young people under the present scheme. The emphasis of the programme will be on helping those who are least qualified and with the poorest employment prospects. It is the Government's firm intention that no summer or Easter school leavers who remain unemployed the following Easter should be without the offer of a place under the programme.576W In addition the youth employment subsidy scheme will be extended to 31st March 1978.
My right hon. Friend also announced two new provisions to help unemployed adults, replacing the existing job creation programme. The first will provide 8,000 places for adults from the unemployment register to instruct and supervise youngsters on work experience schemes. The second, the special temporary employment programme (STEP) will provide temporary employment opportunities of up to 12 months for those aged 19 and over. In addition, the job release scheme has been extended to 31st March 1978, but from 1st July it will only apply to those in employment in the assisted areas.