§ Mr. Clappison
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many of the 16 and 17-year-olds in the Learning Gateway have entered learning and training. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The Learning Gateway provides a client-centred approach, based on one-to-one support from a Personal Adviser, for 16 and 17-year-olds who have drifted away from learning and need additional help to enter mainstream learning opportunities. The Learning Gateway was introduced in September 1999. At the end of March 2000, some 17,500 young people had joined and over 11,000 were still on it. Around 3,500 (60 per cent. of leavers) were known to have progressed to a mainstream education or training opportunity or found a job—an encouraging start for a new initiative dealing with a particularly disadvantaged client group. The Learning Gateway has a key role to play in the development of the Connexions Service—the new youth support service for 13 to 19-year-olds, which will be phased in from April 2001.