§ Sir Ralph Howell
To ask the Secretary of Employment what is the total cost of Workstart and the total saving from Workstart to date(a) in cast Kent and (b) in South London; how many people have been involved to date; and what overall saving per person has been achieved.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Savings to the Exchequer from any employment programme arise from long-term improvements in the functioning of the labour market, and cannot he calculated in the terms requested.627W
Under the Workstart pilots, which ran from July 1993 to December 1994, employers who recruited long-term unemployed people were paid £60 a week for the first six months, and £30 a week for the next six. It is not possible to provide costs for each of the pilot areas. The total expenditure for the cast Kent, London and Devon and Cornwall pilot areas until the end of February 1995 was £1,586,519.
A total of 468 people have participated in the east Kent pilot and 238 people in London.
Evaluation of Workstart suggested that it has had a positive effect on employers' willingness to recruit long-term unemployed people, and this approach will he explored further using the 5,000 pilot places announced in the Budget.