Lib Dems slam the New Deal as “shambolic”

Individually tailored work schemes for people who have
difficulty entering employment would be rolled out under the
Liberal Democrats, it was announced at the party’s annual
conference in Bournemouth this week, writes Amy

Paul Holmes MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for work, said
that Labour’s “shambolic” welfare to work
programme, the New Deal, would be re-focussed into the individual

He added that the New Deal adopted a “one size fits
all” approach that had low rates of success.

Liberal Democrat analysis of official figures found that only
just over a third of 18-24-year-olds on the New Deal for young
people went into employment in 2003. It also states that just over
41,000 job seekers had been on the New Deal for young people three
or more times and, of these, only 40 per cent have gone into

Holmes said the new system would also make the most of local
employment opportunities. “The New Deal needs complete and
total reform. Flexibility is the key with training programmes
linked to the local labour marker,” he concluded.

The Liberal Democrats also promised extra help for those who
faced the greatest barriers to employment such as disabled


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