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Employment subsidies to underwrite lifelong learning

"We want young people to move into good jobs and to ensure that welfare-to-work is not a revolving door," Brian Wilson, the Education and Industry Minister, said last week, announcing that guidance and mentoring would be at the heart of the programme.

This is an opportunity for colleges and the careers service which also hope to pick up business from other measures in the Budget such as the extra help for the over-25s who have been out of work for two years or more.

Employers will be given a weekly recruitment subsidy of Pounds 75 a head and there will be opportunities for those on the scheme to take work-based qualifications.

Other implications stem from a Pounds 200 million package to assist disabled people into training or work, a similar Pounds 200 million programme for lone parents, and a start-up fund of Pounds 5 million for a University for Industry modelled on the Open University to boost lifelong learning.

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