§ 31. Mr. Khabra
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on recent measures he has taken to improve levels of employment. 
§ Ruth Kelly
Figures recently announced show that the employment level is at 28,232 million, and the claimant unemployment level stands at 951,000. Claimant unemployment in Ealing, South all is down by 27 per cent. since 1997. The new deal has been a contributing factor to these levels of unemployment.
In particular new deal for young people has been successful in its four years of operation; it has placed over 340,000 18-24-year-olds into work. The new deal for 25 plus and the enhanced programme (since April 2001) has also helped over 92,000 long-term unemployed people into work.
To build on this performance, the Government have introduced further measures to increase the effectiveness of the new deal and other employment programmes, including: piloting greater flexibility in the Options section of NDYP from November 2001 to give personal advisers more freedom to tailor the provision of support to meet the needs of the individuals, local employers and local labour markets; establishing a pilot mentoring scheme from January 2002 to assess how mentoring can best be used to improve employment chances and job retention under the new deal; step-up a new programme of transitional employment pilots will target our hardest to help clients who have not been able to find a job through the new deal. People who take up these jobs will receive individual support so that they can eventually make the transition to unsupported jobs in the open labour market; the Government are allocating additional resources to strengthen the Job Transition Service over the next two years, this is to support those communities affected by large-scale redundancies; and the working families' tax credit (WFTC) helps to make work pay for low to middle income families with children. Nearly 1.3 million families with children are currently receiving the WFTC, around 400,000 more than received its predecessor, Family Credit. On average these families are receiving £35 a week more on WFTC than under Family Credit.