§ Mr. Leighton
asked the Paymaster General if he will list the new steps, measures, initiatives and policy developments of his Department over the past two years in chronological order.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Over the past two years my Department has continued to develop and implement programmes designed to help unemployed people, improve the workings of the labour market and encourage business growth and employment creation.
The main innovations since November 1984 are as follows:671W
Date Development Purpose November 1984 Adult Training Strategy To improve the quantity and quality of training and increase the supply of skills needed in modern industry. First Jobclubs pilot To help unemployed people compete more effectively for jobs. Publication of Code of Good Practice on Employment of Disabled People To advance the employment interests of disabled people and promote good practice. March 1985 Publication of White Paper "Employment—The Challenge for the Nation" To set the employment problem of the country in context and explain the Government's employment strategy. Expansion of Community Programme to 230,000 places To provide more places to help long-term unemployed people. April 1985 City Action Teams set up To coordinate Government programmes in the five partnership areas. Restructuring of MSC training provision To improve targeting and cost effectiveness of training for unemployed people. Business Development Service established by Small Firms Service To assist small firms with growth potential, White Paper: "Education and Training for Young People" Developments in YTS. June 1985 Employment Protection Act provisions amended Qualifying period for unfair dismissal extended to two years and industrial tribunals procedures changed—to achieve a better balance between employers' needs and workers' rights. July 1985 Publication of White Paper "Lifting the Burden" To identify areas where the removal of administrative burdens could help business and encourage job creation. October 1985 Implementation of final sections of the Trade Union Act 1984 To make trade unions more democratic and responsive to members' views. January 1986 Restart pilots set up To test intensive programme of assistance for long-term unemployed people. January 1986 Jobstart Allowance Scheme introduced To help long-term unemployed start work and enabling them to take lower-paid jobs. February 1986 Inner City Initiative set up inner city task forces To achieve a more targeted impact on inner city areas and mobilize community and other resources in tackling employment environmental and social problems. March 1986 New Workers Scheme introduced To improve the employment prospects of young adults and those graduating from YTS. April 1986 Action for Jobs initiative To publicise facilities available to help employment and business and schemes to assist unemployed people. Loan Guarantee Scheme premium halved to 2½ per cent. To improve small firms' access to finance. Two-year YTS To improve the quality of training for young people and provide opportunities to work towards a recognised vocational qualification. Local Enterprise Agency Grant Scheme launched To promote development of a network of viable local enterprise agencies. May 1986 White Paper "Building Businesses… Not Barriers" Reviewed progress made in relieving business of unnecessary administrative barriers and identified further areas where progress should be made. "Payment on Time" booklet launched To encourage a more enlightened approach to bill payment practice. June 1986 Document "Employment Growth into the 1990s: a strategy for the Labour Market" tabled jointly with Irish and Italian Governments Proposals to combat unemployment in the European Community; in November 1986 resolution based on paper tabled for December Council. Greater private sector involvement in Community Programme Currently developing with CBI greater private sector involvement. July 1986 Publication of "Action for Jobs in Tourism" Reviewed the steps taken to help strengthen tourism's contribution to employment.
Date Development Purpose July 1986 Restart: nationwide extension White Paper "Working Together, Education and Training" included extension of Technical and Vocational Education Initiative pilot to national scheme from Autumn 1987 To give young people aged 14 to 18 access to wider and richer curriculum more relevant to the world of work. Announcement of "Headstart" Joint initiative by Industrial Society, MSC and Inner Cities Initiative to provide enterprise and training and advice for 18 to 25-year-olds in inner city areas. Open College To extend use of open learning through Broadcasting media. August 1986 Implementation of the Wages Act To repeal outdated Truck Acts; reform wages councils and abolish redundancy payment rebates for all but smallest firms so that resources can be used to encourage business and generate jobs. Enterprise Allowance Scheme rules changed To make the scheme more accessible for those leaving other schemes and training courses. September 1986 Improved availability test for unemployed benefit claimants Introduced in reply to criticism from National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee. October 1986 National Council for Vocational Qualifications established To create a new framework of national vocational qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Better deal for ethnic minority young people in YTS Guidelines to be set for desired improvements in ethnic minority participation in employer-led schemes from spring 1987. Prince of Wales Trust Government will provide £6 million 1987–90 to help young entrepreneurs through advice, counselling and small amount of finance. Extension of Restart to six-month unemployed Being tested in original pilot areas. Expansion of Jobclubs to 1,000 by April 1987, 2,000 by September 1987 if need continues To develop Jobclub network to help those unemployed for more than six months. November 1986 Sex Discrimination Act 1986 implemented To improve sex discrimination and equal pay legislation. Pilot Job Training Scheme introduced To test training provision geared to needs of long-term unemployed people. Publication of leaflet AIDS and Employment Gives factual information about AIDS and guidance on industrial relations problems. Broughton Road project Major experimental scheme to employ local people to refurbish a run-down street of Victorian buildings in Handsworth area of Birmingham. Joint project of DE/DoE/City Council/Tarmac Ltd
There have been other smaller developments within existing programmes such as the £1 million given to the Newcastle city action team to aid employment in the area, and the United Kingdom 2000 project, under the community programme, launched in July 1986.